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Designing for the Web ~ Typography


Quotation marks

“” ‘’

Quotation marks, also called ‘inverted commas’, are used to wrap quotations. In the UK, it is common practice to use single marks (‘’) except for when there are quotes within quotes, where double marks are used. In the US it is common practice to use double marks (“”). Again, the proper methods of inserting these marks should be used:


needs to be taken to make sure you use the right glyph. Some typefaces have so—called neutral quotes. They look a bit like primes, but are in fact quotation marks without the slant — a relic from the typewriter age.



Single marks: ß ß ß ß ß

Mac: Option+] for left, Shift+Option+] for right PC: ALT 0145 for left, ALT 0146 for right XHTML entity: ‘ for left, ’ for right Character reference:&#0145 for left, &#0146 for right Unicode reference:&#8216 for left, &#8217 for right

Double marks: ß ß ß ß ß

Mac: Option+[ for left, Shift+Option+[ for right PC: ALT 0147 for left, ALT 0148 for right XHTML entity: “ for left, ” for right Character reference:&#0147 for left, &#0148 for right Unicode reference:“ for left, ” for right Quotation marks are the poor fellows who have perhaps suffered the most at the hands of computing and desktop publishing. The marks on your keyboard next to the colon and semi colon are not quotation marks, they are primes and double—primes. A prime is the symbol commonly used for feet (12'), a double prime for inches (12' 6"). Primes can be slanted and can therefore sometimes look like quotation marks, so care

Ligatures are combinations of letters—some of them are functional, some are decorative. They are more commonly seen in serif faces, although ligatures in sans—serif faces—such as Gill Sans and Scala Sans—are important to the typeface and should be used. They are generally comprised of certain characters that are created to stop collision of elements of letterforms. Take the letter ‘f’ of a serif typeface. In lower case, especially italic, the top and tail of the f move into the character space next to it. These overlaps are what typographers call kerns. It’s when these overlaps collide with letters next to them that we have problems. Take lower case ‘f’ and lower case ‘i’, probably the most widely used ligature. When set in Roman, the ascender of the ‘f’ collides with the dot of the ‘i’; the effect is much worse when set in italic. Type designers therefore combined the character into the ‘fi’ ligature. As you can see, the dot from the ‘i’ is simply removed.

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