A .notdef glyph (derives from Re: ct, fj and blackletter ligatures)

From: William Overington (WOverington@ngo.globalnet.co.uk)
Date: Wed Nov 06 2002 - 13:29:30 EST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: A .notdef glyph"

    John Hudson wrote as follows.

    >Here's an exercise for your enthusiasm, William: devise the form of the
    >perfect .notdef glyph. It needs to unambiguously indicate that a glyph is
    >missing, i.e. it should be something that can easily be mistaken for a
    >dingbat, and it needs to be easy to spot in proofreading in both print and
    >onscreen (some applications, e.g. Adobe InDesign, make the latter a bit
    >easier by applying colour highlight to the .notdef glyph).

    Thank you for the design brief.

    Here is my design.

    The design consists of a single contour in as large a square box as is
    possible for the particular font.

    In my prototype I used a box 2048 font units by 2048 font units. In this
    case, the value of n is 1024.

    The contour has seven points, the first point and the last point being at
    the same place.

    Point 1 is at (0,0) and is on the curve.
    Point 2 is at (0,2n) and is off the curve.
    Point 3 is at (2n,2n) and is on the curve.
    Point 4 is at (2n,n) and is on the curve.
    Point 5 is at (n,n) and is on the curve.
    Point 6 is at (n,0) and is on the curve.
    Point 7 is at (0,0) and is on the curve.

    This has the effect of making the glyph easy to draw, solid enough to be
    specifically noticeable, distinctively shaped with both a curved line and
    straight lines so that it stands out and in an arc which goes against the
    normal arc of design of a graphical user interface of the input screen of a
    computer program so as also hopefully to make it more noticeable. In
    addition, the design has white space set out in a manner such that where
    several copies of the glyph appear in sequence on a page of text, they are
    easily counted.

    I hope that you like the design.

    William Overington

    6 November 2002

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