Setting Patrícia Right

Some time ago I came across a letterpress hack from the 1890s:

Accented Letters may be easily and effectually made by the shoulder of the letter being cut off, say, one-sixth of an inch, and, in the case of a diaeresis accent, soldering on the top part of a colon with a small blowpipe ; the letter afterwards being filed and dressed. Other peculiar and accented letters can be made equally well : a little thought and ingenuity will overcome many obstacles.

Today I had cause to consider setting the Portuguese name Patrícia in metal type (note carefully: that’s a lower-case “i” with an acute accent over it) and as I only have fonts of English and French, I lack the required accented letter and so was force to apply the aforementioned “thought and ingenuity.” The result was this:

Patrícia in metal.

The acute accent is a comma set on the line above; I set this in upper case because it conveniently allowed me to avoid a conflict between the dot over the “i” and the accent). This might not be the best typeface for this, as the comma is more stylized than I’d like and a simple stroke would work better. But it’s a start.


Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 25, 2012 - 20:40

Irony alert: I forgot the second (accentless) letter “i” in Patrícia. Correcting.

Pedro Custódio's picture
Pedro Custódio on June 25, 2012 - 20:41

Yup, commas to the rescue. It’s 1980’s all over again for me to a time pre-computers and non accented letters typewriters ;)

Note: Hope it’s on purpose, but that Patrícia is missing the second i ;)

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 25, 2012 - 21:02

Okay, here’s take two, set in Futura 30 point, with commas for the accents (just a rough proof pulled from the metal type with a rubber stamp pad):

<img alt=”Set again” src=”…” style=”width: 640px; height: 440px; “/>

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