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S OM E THING

• OLD • S OM E THING

• NEW • • SOMETHING BORROWED

• SOMETHING

• BLUE •


SOMETHING OLD SOMETHING NEW SOMETHING BORROWED SOMETHING BLUE


••• A conceptual book of ligatures for todays use of abbreviations in the English language. All the ligatures designed in this short book are based on the typeface Gill Sans. There are light and light italic variations of the ligatures. This was a six week project given at university for the purpose of finding an interesting way to promote ourselves as designers.


CONTENTS Introduction

7

FFS Light Light Italic

8 9

WTF Light Light Italic

12 13

FYI Light Light Italic Method

14 15 16–17

TBH Light Light Italic

20 21

TBF Light Light Italic

22

Social media

24-28

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INTRODUCTION

Ligatures are the marriage of letters, combining two or more letters to create a single glyph for the rest of their lives, happily ever after. In this book I am taking old ways of joining ligatures and borrowing these rules to create something new. Ligatures were designed when scribes writing manuscripts needed to find a way to make the most of the paper as materials were getting too expensive and in order to speed up the task. Another reason why ligatures were designed was to prevent characters colliding like ‘fi’ for example, this stops the hook of the ‘f ’ colliding with the dot of the ‘i’. ligatures are designed in a variation of ways, they can involve the use of flourishes or ‘kissing’ letters or formed by using one part of a stroke in a letter to replace another. There are two different styles of ligatures one is known as ‘Standard ligatures’ and the other is known as ‘Discretionary ligatures’. Standard ligatures are normally used to solve the problem of colliding characters. Discretionary ligatures are normally influenced by historical means or they are purely ornamental.

STANDARD LIGATURE EXAMPLES

DISCRETIONARY LIGATURE EXAMPLES

ct

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FFS ‘for f**ks sake’

‘FFS’ is the abbreviation for ‘For f**ks sake’. It is used often when posting status updates on social media sites and whilst texting to express the emotion in a form of short hand. In many ways it is used verbally during distress, anxiety or discomfort. My initial response to this ligature was somehow instinctively to design the flourish to flow underneath the first ‘f ’ and bowl to join the ‘s’. This particular join shown above between ‘f ’ and ‘s’ is borrowed and can be seen used in a lot of ligature designs old and new. The ‘ff ’ join

is an old style of joining the two, and has stayed a popular way of presenting the two letters to form a single glyph. My flourish design to create a glyph is something new. This particular ligature is a manipulation of Gill Sans light. I started with the combination of these three letters and sketched the idea by hand which I then scanned into the computer to construct the flourishing stroke in a way which would marry them to create a single glyph.

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S OMETHING OLD | SOM E TH I N G N E W | SOM E TH I N G BORRO W E D | S O M E T HING B L U E

FFS ‘for f**ks sake’

This is ‘FFS’ Light Italic. This design required a different approach to the light font due to the stroke width being thinner in Gill light italic. This meant not bringing the flourish out as far as the light version because the counter size in Gill light is much wider whilst the light italic counters are oblique. The reasons for having a regular and an italic variation was initially to try and find a way of expressing the severity of the abbreviation rather than having to design the ligatures in capitals.

My initial intent for these ligatures was to try and produce them as close to a monoline stroke as possible. Another option I had was to come up with stylistic alternates for the ligatures so that the flourishes could be much longer and expressive*.

*

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A series of sketches and designs for the ligature ‘WTF’ based on variations of Gill light and Gill light italic.

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WTF ‘What the f**k’

intended for use in social media and new technology. The square black and white out boxes* show how these ligatures may appear as a special glyph section in a typeface or alternatively how these may look as an extra on a mobile keyboard.

‘WTF’ is generally used when a person is shocked by what they see or hear. WTF was an interesting abbreviation to design and could have resulted in many other ways as you can see in the preceding sketches of initial ideas. Some of these ideas have been intentionally borrowed, others may be new because I was designing to try and find solutions in my own way. I have kept the idea of the ‘f ’ joining from its decender. As I mention in the brief introduction, these ligatures are

*

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S OMETHING OLD | SOM E TH I N G N E W | SOM E TH I N G BORRO W E D | S O M E T HING B L U E

WTF ‘What the f**k’

12pt

18pt

24pt

36pt

13

48pt


FYI ‘For your information’

Below* is an example of how they could be added to the middle or end of a sentence as a glyph, these do work better for use at a larger point size and for on screen use rather than for small screen applications such as mobiles.

‘FYI’ has been an abbreviation used for years and isn’t as new as the others. For this ligature I decided to use my new design concept and transfer it to the ‘y’ of the ligature to join the ‘f ’ similar to the previous designs for ‘ffs’. The italic version of this ligature was designed using an elipse as the axis to achieve the balance needed for such a design. It was important to keep the ‘i’ on its own to give a sense of equally distrubuted weight in the design of the ligature.

*

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S OMETHING OLD | SOM E TH I N G N E W | SOM E TH I N G BORRO W E D | S O M E T HING B L U E

FYI ‘For your information’

12pt

18pt

24pt

36pt

15

48pt


FYI ‘The Method’

When designing these ligatures I have tried to maintain an equilibrium between the negative space and the balance of the glyph shown using the dotted lines. This perspective of design is borrowed from a technique used to show regularities or irregularities when designing a typeface.

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FYI ‘The Method’

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S OMETHING OLD | SOM E TH I N G N E W | SOM E TH I N G BORRO W E D | S O M E T HING B L U E

Ornaments designed from the curves of the ligatures.

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TBH ‘To be honest’

‘TBH’ is one of the most frequently used abbreviations in my experience whilst texting or chatting on social media sites. I wanted it to be bold and but yet have a simple and borrowed method of ligature designs. The reason for this is because it is used rather softly in conversation or boldly at the end of a persons opinion in conversation. The ‘b’ and the ‘h’ are ‘kissing’ each other. The reason for this being is that if I were to use the same principle as ‘AE’* the stroke of the ‘h’ protruding out of the shoulder of

the ‘b’ would look awkward and appear as though the letter was trying to escape or divorce from its hubby (excuse the pun). This is based on a very old design for ligatures borrowed from the Cyrillic script* which can also be seen used in ancient manuscripts and can be found in some fonts in the glyph options.

Ӕ *

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TBH ‘To be honest’

12pt

18pt

24pt

36pt

21

48pt


TBF ‘To be fair’

well as it uses a combination of my new idea of using the decender as the method for joining the letters, and the old way of combining the stroke of one letter to complete the shape of the other*.

‘TBF’ is another alternative to using ‘TBH’ and often used but not as frequently. An example could be ‘I don’t mind tbh’ or ‘its up to you tbf ’. This was a really interesting outcome as I didn’t really know how I was going to adapt my curve aspect to this ligature. However, I found that letting the design of the letters do the work for me with some slight adjusting worked perfectly

Љ *

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S OMETHING OLD | SOM E TH I N G N E W | SOM E TH I N G BORRO W E D | S O M E T HING B L U E

TBF ‘To be fair’

12pt

18pt

24pt

36pt

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48pt


John Doe

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed ! Like . Comment . 58 minutes ago via Mobile .

Jane Roe

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismo... ?!

Like . Comment . about an hour ago .

Here are a few examples of how the ligatures could be used on common social media sites such as facebook and twitter. These could work as short cuts which would appear with a combination of keyboard keys such as ‘ctrl + shift +F’ or something similar. Alternatively they could work as an extra option on a mobile phone keyboard for texting which could be downloaded via an application store.

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S OMETHING OLD | SOM E TH I N G N E W | SOM E TH I N G BORRO W E D | S O M E T HING B L U E

Flitter.com @flitter.com

12h

A wizard’s job is to vex chumps quickly in fog #

Flitter.com @flitter.com

12h

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog #

Hey, How are you? x 27 Nov, 17:55

A bit stressed are you? x

, How 27 Nov, 17:58

Same, can’t afford to pay the bills this month! !! =( x 27 Nov, 18:01

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Hey, did you see that news story? x 27 Nov, 17:55

yeah! I couldn’t believe it!! x

27 Nov, 17:58

I know, seriously

?! x 27 Nov, 18:01

Tap to enter message

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S OMETHING OLD | SOM E TH I N G N E W | SOM E TH I N G BORRO W E D | S O M E T HING B L U E

Hey, what you up to? x 27 Nov, 17:55

Stuck on the train, not moved for over an hour ! x 27 Nov, 17:58

oh no! hope it won’t be for much longer! x 27 Nov, 18:01

Tap to enter message

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Ligatures Final