Monday, May 30, 2011

Ligatures? A Holdover From an Analog World?

Ligatures are an interesting holdover in typography. At one time they served a purpose in metal typesetting to seemlessly place two letters together - 'f' and 'l' for example - that you could not kern closely enough without putting them on a single piece of metal. Ligature type was also created to simulate merged letters similar to those in calligraphy. At the time it was an elegant solution. But is it still necessary to use ligatures now? With more and more books and articles created to be read on screen ligatures will not enhance the legibility of the type and actually create new problems.

In the spirit of typographic humor here are some new visual ideas for creating ligatures by designer David Schwen.

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