A post from Shady Characters

Miscellany № 37: welcome to :Düsseldorf

Departure board in Düsseldorf Airport
Departure board in Düsseldorf Airport. (Photo by the author.)

I must apologise for the radio silence this past weekend; my wife and I were visiting Düsseldorf in Germany for a few days of archaeological sightseeing, museum going, and tasting of regional beers. One thing caught my eye as soon as we arrived, as you can see above: the city’s new logo, designed by advertising agency BBDO, could be seen from the airport to the Altstadt. The Local reports that BBDO head Frank Loetze said: “We wanted an over-arching symbol which exudes the feeling of living in the city — the grinning D is concise and appealing. And we decided on red and white as they are the colours of the city.”1

Though it isn’t explicitly mentioned, I feel certain that BBDO must have been inspired by the umlaut over Düsseldorf’s ‘u’. Certainly, at a time when some German businesses are abandoning their umlauts for the sake of clarity in international business dealings,2 Düsseldorf’s new logo positively celebrates it, and the sans-serif Ü in :DÜSSELDORF is as cheery as the :D with which it starts.

In other news, I somehow managed to miss Tom Humberstone’s punctuation support group comic strip in the New Statesman when it was first published back in July. Very remiss of me, but here it is nevertheless. Better late than never!

Nick Sherman is on the hunt for a monospaced typeface that contains a manicule, or “monocule”, as he has it. Can you help?

Manicule in an undated printed book. (Image © 2013 Special Collections and Archives, Cardiff University Library. All rights reserved.)
Manicule in an undated printed book. (Image © 2013 Special Collections and Archives, Cardiff University Library. All rights reserved.)

Also on the subject of the manicule (and arriving late to the party yet again) I recently came across an excellent post on the subject of the manicule from Cardiff University Library’s Special Collections and Archives. In it Ken Gibb presents a bevy of manicules to ogle, including the lovely printed example shown here. Take a look!

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading!

The Local/hc, “Düsseldorf Mayor Launches ’friendly’ Logo”, The Local, November–2012. 
DPA/The Local/tsb, “German Firms Ditch Umlauts for Global Trade”, The Local, August–2013. 

1 comment on “Miscellany № 37: welcome to :Düsseldorf

  1. Comment posted by Solo Owl on

    Manicules (U+261A thru 261F) can be found in DejaVu Sans Mono. The horizontal ones have no wrist or cuff.

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