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Script Analysis - Remaining Questions

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29 June 2007

Script Analysis - Remaining Questions

I mentioned that I still have some questions from my list of script analysis questions to cover.
I also want to look at the spacing again, coz I have a much better idea about what I'm looking for now.

I've edited the list a bit, because I've hopped around the place.

So they are :

Letter Width

Use the pen ladder on the card to measure the width of a N. Compare this width against the width of other letters. Widths of letters in variant scripts may differ from the widths used in the ‘standardized’ script of that type.

If the width of the same letter varies within the source examples, which is the most common width, or which width looks the best to you?

Make notes on the ductus as appropriate. You should now know the proportions of each letter – the height and the width.

Counterspaces

Look at the negative spaces within the letters (the counterspaces). Become aware of the shapes that are formed. “Become conscious of what each corner of the nib is “drawing” by looking at the corner nearer to the inside counter, while forming each letter. This encourages greater awareness of negative shapes. If these are correct, the black lines will also be correct”

Letter and Word Spacing

Use the nib width ladder to find the spacing between the letters in a word. 3,4

What is it?

Does it vary, and when?

(Not including ligatures, which are covered below)

What is the space between the words in nib widths?

Details of the Letters

What alternative forms of letters exist (for example R, half R, S, Long S, )

What are the rules for their use? For example, in Gothic scripts, half R is used after certain letters. (Drogin et al will have this answer for scripts of a similar form of the period)

Ensure that these forms are included on the ductus, including any notes on letter height, strokes at an angle other than the dominant pen angle,

Are there particular letter forms used at the end of a line? For example, in Uncial, e with a long centre stroke was used at the end of a line. (Drogin et al will have this answer for scripts of a similar form of the period)

Include examples on the ductus if possible.

Are there any other forms of letters for particular linguistic situations? For example, double S or double F?

Include an example on the ductus

Are there any letters from A...Z that weren't used in the period of the script (eg K, J, Q)? 2

Is there an ampersand or et-ligature used?2

Include an example on the ductus

Are there ligatures used - this will depend on the period the script is from. For example, DE, DO, DA sharing a central stem.2
Mark Drogin et al will give the rules for the letters for the standard scripts of the same period.

What punctuation is used? 2

Include examples on the ductus

Are there any changes you would make to the layout of the text, the word or letter spacing, or any details of the letters themselves in order to improve legibility to the modern eye?2,6

And there should be something about what Majuscules are used

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