A post from Shady Characters

Ciemne typki competition: we have a winner!

Congratulations to Mykola Leonovych on winning a copy of the new edition of Ciemne typki, the Polish translation of Shady Characters! I asked entrants about their favourite marks of punctuation and why they liked them. Here’s Mykola’s winning entry:

My favourite punctuation mark is probably the fleuron. I use ❧ to mark a personal section of my email newsletter, and sometimes a beginning of a poem (for that I also like the asterism, ⁂). I think that any font with a fleuron is more lively than without.

Indeed! I’m grateful to Mykola for reminding me about the fleuron and asterism, a pair of marks that have somehow not featured prominently here on the blog. And he makes a good point about fonts and shady characters: in the same way that Van Halen demanded a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed to figure out which concert promoters had read their contract and which hadn’t, for me the absence of a fleuron or other unusual marks is a sign of a typeface lacking a bit of verve. Conversely, a good asterism or pilcrow is a sign of a designer with a sense of history.

If you’d to see Mykola deploy a fleuron in person, his newsletter Повільна людина (The Slow Person), where he writes in Ukrainian “about books, culture, and typography”, lives here.

Mykola’s copy of Ciemne typki will be in the post soon, and thank you all for entering!

2 comments on “Ciemne typki competition: we have a winner!

  1. Comment posted by Brian Inglis on

    Those looking for a fleuron in Unicode will find them containing the word “floral” in their description ❦ U+2766 FLORAL HEART, ❧ U+2767 ROTATED FLORAL HEART BULLET or ☙ U+2619 REVERSED ROTATED FLORAL HEART BULLET, and also apparently included in the fleuron category are leafs and buds in the U+1F650-1F67F Ornamental Dingbats block between U+1F650 NORTH WEST POINTING LEAF and U+1F667 HEAVY SOUTH EAST POINTING BUD.

    As usual, Wikipedia has more pictures, lists, and references: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleuron_(typography)

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Brian – very useful! Thanks.

      For some reason, WordPress won’t let me add examples of the two bud characters you mention, but they’re lovely! Exactly the thing to brighten up a piece of text.

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