Re: Designing Vietnamese diacritics

From: John Hudson (
Date: Sun Nov 17 2002 - 16:37:24 EST

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: Designing Vietnamese diacritics"

    At 12:53 11/17/2002, Doug Ewell wrote:

    >Adam Twardoch <list dot adam at twardoch dot com> wrote:
    > > I'm looking for reference/guidelines on positioning of Vietnamese
    > > diacritics. Any hints?
    >The basic guideline is that the acute accent (tone mark) should kern to
    >the right of an accompanying circumflex accent, and the grave accent
    >(tone mark) should kern to the left of the circumflex. They should not
    >simply be placed above the circumflex. Also, the "hook above" tone mark
    >should kern to the right of the circumflex.

    I'll only add to Doug's comments that it has become acceptable to place the
    grave accent on the right side of the circumflex (one sees this a lot in
    the signage of Vietnamese restaurants), but the traditional position on the
    left is better.

    Also, the design of the grave and acute accents that combine with the
    circumflex can be designed in a special way, typically shorter than the
    normal grave and acute, so as to take up less space (preventing collisions
    with nearby ascenders). I sometimes slice the lower tip of the grave and
    acute parallel to the angle of the circumflex, to permit the maximum amount
    of space between the accents, but this may be idiosyncratic.

    >Other combinations of accent + tone mark don't generally get in each
    >other's way, so they don't pose any special design problems.

    Correct. In combination with breve, the tone marks sit directly above, with
    the lower tip of the grave, acute and hook dipping into the bowl of the breve.

    Adam, I'll send you some examples.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC

    It is necessary that by all means and cunning,
    the cursed owners of books should be persuaded
    to make them available to us, either by argument
    or by force. - Michael Apostolis, 1467

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