Greek glyph question

gthompson's picture

I am adding polytonic Greek to a font family and have a question concerning alternate glyphs. After looking at numerous examples there doesn't appear to be a standard for the iota diacritic glyphs especially for small caps versions. Here is what I have designed so far — please ignore spacing, etc. as this is still a work in progress. The base glyph is uni1F8A with/without hanging diacritics, then an alternate with a regular iota instead of the iota diacritic, then a small cap uni1F8A, then a cap/small cap of it, last a small cap with a reduced iota diacritic. My question is do I need all these and have I forgotten any variations such as cap/small cap hanging diacritic? I don't want to go overboard, but as long as I am doing it I feel everything necessary should be included.

Nick Shinn's picture

IMO, accented Greek small caps are “overboard”.
And it follows from that, that the “cap with small cap” (titlecase) version of these characters would also be unnecessary.
Save yourself a lot of work, omit accented small caps!
AFAIK, only Slimbach has created such.
But perhaps John Hudson has had a go at it.
This was discussed at Typophile, but at the moment it’s impossible to find the thread, due to search engine problems.

gthompson's picture

Thanks for your input Nick.
I guess I passed "overboard" a while back since the accented small caps are already designed in the various weights for 'smcp' and 'c2sc', though not yet the italic. It wasn't that hard to create them and I did decide to do accented small caps after looking at Arno Pro. My biggest concern is writing the feature code correctly. I will have to think about taking them out since I'm so far along. I admit I do tend to overdo projects and then go for the easier solution. Hate to toss them out though.

John Hudson's picture

Keep them. They're a valid option, especially for anyone dealing with Byzantine uncial text transcription. With regard to the adscript iota, there is precedence in renaissance typography for a form slightly shorter than the smallcap height (in the image, see the second word of the uncial text).

Nick Shinn's picture

…especially for anyone dealing with Byzantine uncial text transcription.

Is that a significant market?
Given the number of free academic Greek fonts available, unless your typeface has a corporate backer, is there any reason to put so much work into it?

hrant's picture

To me this is exactly the sort of thing you might design of your own initiative, but should not simply throw in. The right people should need to pay extra for really exotic stuff.

hhp

gthompson's picture

Thanks for everyone's advice. Seriously needed and helpful.

I think I will go ahead and keep the accented small caps for this font family since the upright ones are done anyway. I spent about a week writing/altering various scripts to make them so finishing the italic won't be that much more work.

Since getting rich and famous from type design is never going to be an option I'm not concerned about the market. This may be the only font I do this for though. I'm spending a lot of time updating my existing fonts to otf (almost all production work). Feels like I'm living in the past and I'm dying to design some new things.

The biggest problem I have now is writing the feature code and in looking at other faces (most notably Hypatia Sans) not having accented small caps doesn't seem to make that much easier. In any case I will be back with more questions as this matures.

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