Style: 'bdpq' bowl shape. Universal design?

Bug #656146 reported by Trond Thorbjørnsen on 2010-10-07
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu Font Family

Bug Description

Rendered in 36pt Regular

Sample Glyphs:

bd pq


It's a bit sad that b, d, p and q is so similar. Look to the Read Regular font to see what I mean.

UA String:

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; nn-NO; rv: Gecko/20100922 Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick) Firefox/3.6.10

Trond Thorbjørnsen (tthorb) wrote :

Automatic Screenshot

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

To clarify this bug report, please could you explain in more detail why you feel the similarity between various characters in the Regular font is a "bit sad"?

I've attached a PDF that shows the slight variation present between bdpq; the stem height on the ascender is longer than the descenders, and the angle at the top of the stem is based on the direction too.

When designing a family, the characters do need to harmonise with each other, so that shapes used will end up looking similar to some degree, because that is precisely that is required. However, if you compare the Regular with the Italic, you will note that quite a lot of characters /are/ different; the easiest to see here is the lowercase 'a' which double-storey in the Regular and single-storey in the Italic. The general stylistic angle of the typeface has been set for several months, but if there's anything that can be improved technically, it would be good to do that.

Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
status: New → Incomplete
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :
Paul Sladen (sladen) on 2010-10-07
summary: - Universal design?
+ Style: 'bdpq' bowl shape. Universal design?
tags: added: uff-latin uff-style

The technical typographic term for this is "stress". The Ubuntu design
has vertical stress. It would a different design, and a different font,
with different stress. There is no question of changing the bowl shape -
and therefore the stress - at this stage.


Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

 status opinion


Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
status: Incomplete → Opinion
Trond Thorbjørnsen (tthorb) wrote :

I agree that this is an opinion, not a bug.

David: This is not necesseraly about vertical or angled stress. There is several different solutions to this problem.

Paul: You are right, there are some slight differences, and that is good. Another typical thing to do is having the left bottom of the b curved and the right bottom of the d edged.
I understand that this font has been developed over some time, and I think the result is beautiful.

But the main problem is that the beauty of repetitions of the same patterns are obstacles for many people when it comes to reading.

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