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Subject: The Stressless Zero
From: Stephen Coles <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 12 Sep 2003 06:05:18 -0600

text/plain (29 lines)

On Friday, September 12, 2003, at 05:24  AM, Kent Lew wrote:

> A couple others that I have not had the opportunity to use yet, but
> which interest me and I think would work well for books, are Rod
> McDonald's Laurentian (originally designed for Canada's Maclean's
> Magazine) and Akira Kobayashi's FF Clifford.

I've yet to give Clifford a thorough look, but I expect a lot from
Kobayashi and it looks like it's a great family. Yay for separate
cuts for use at different sizes (6, 9, 18).

Something I've never understood about some classic serifs,
though: the stressless zero. What is the rationale for a perfect
circle without weight modulation in a type where those aspects
are inherent to the design? Especially perplexing are oldstyle
figures, designed to blend into running text, but sport a zero that
sticks out like a sore thumb.

There's gotta be a reason for this. Akira is no dope. Is he merely
following historical precedent for this style of type or is there a
functional purpose behind this zero?


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A Journal of Typography.

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