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Practitioners of Copperplate and Engrosser's Script know that the spacing in these scripts is fairly 'automatic' i.e. things fall in place rather nicely when the exit hairlines are drawn correctly and meet the following letter at about halfway up the x-height. It is interesting to ponder exactly why that is so.

It turns out (no pun intended) that the bottom turns of the straight letters (i, t, l) etc are actually similar to the rounded letters (o, c, e). When drawn correctly, i.e. like the bottom right side of an 'o', exit strokes will be at the correct angle (i.e. match the slant) when they meet the following letter. What is even better is that the join won't be jarring even if the hairline meets the following letter a little bit below the halfway point - this typically results in an abrupt 'impalement' of the hairline into the following letter if the hairline is drawn a bit too shallow.

Here is an exercise I give my students. The following image shows the bottom halves of 3 words 'ice', 'lit' and 'tie' - can you tell which one is which?

 

fpn_1476907185__ice-tie-lit-hidden.jpg

(you can see the whole image here)

 

The challenge is to write these three words and see if the bottom halves give them away. I will be looking forward to your participation.

 

- Salman

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That's cheating... I tried looking behind my screen.. but there was nothing.... :(

 

I also tried flashing a strong light to my screen... but couldn't see the "ghosting" on the letters... :P

 

 

HA!!... very good Salman... I couldn't tell if my life depended on it... :D :D

 

 

 

C.

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Great job, Salman. In terms of recognizing letters, almost any script is written so that the top half of the lettering is more critical in recognizing a letter than the bottom half. Doesn't just apply to Copperplate.

 

Enjoy,

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?

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Great job, Salman. In terms of recognizing letters, almost any script is written so that the top half of the lettering is more critical in recognizing a letter than the bottom half. Doesn't just apply to Copperplate.

 

Enjoy,

 

The point of this exercise is not about recognizing letters but to illustrate that the bottom turns of both straight and rounded letters are the same i.e. you can't tell the bottom of an 'i' from that of an 'e' (as in 'tie').

 

Clearly the bottom halves of 'i' and 'e' in Itlaic or Batarde are different - you might not be able to tell and 'e' from an 'o' but you can identify the round letters. Even in Blackletter Quadrata (made up mostly of minims and lozenges) you can tell the bottom of the 'e' and 'o' are different than that of an 'm' or an 'n'.

 

I hope this clarifies the exercise and my reason for sharing it.

 

- Salman

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