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"a" typeface question.


bterreson

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I've slowly been getting into the world of typeface/font the past few years and there's something I always look for- and notice.

There are two kinds of lowercase A's.

I know this isn't breaking news or anything...

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I've realized you typically see the one on the left in handwriting, and the one on the right more so in type.

I guess my question is.... why? and more importantly: do they have specific names to distinguish between the two?

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i've heard them referred to as single-story and double story or stacked. and jim's correct it is all aesthetics, mixed with a bit of handwriting and printing history in there. A stacked lowercase a is easier to visually distinguish from an o, particularly at small sizes and when you have ink bleed such as back in the early days of printing.

And for the record, I actually use the stacked lowercase "a" in my handwriting because i'm that much of a type nerd.

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I too use the stacked a in my writing, end every once in a while someone notices and comments, which instantly makes that person cool in my book.

I will concede that the single-story a is much easier to write (or maybe just because we've been trained that way) and it's also closer to how an a looks in "standard" cursive.

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Also a stacked lowercase "a" writer. I started doing it back in the day of mixtape dubbing, because it looked better when writing titles.

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Awesome! Thanks for the input.

I'm also slowly trying to make myself write the stacked "a" - but as BBTV noted, it is quite hard to do when you've been using the single story method your entire life. I've been trying a few methods to make it easier- So far I've found that drawing a "2" then closing the bottom right opening is the best way to go for me.

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I hate writing the stacked version, it's much easier for me to write the single-story because my handwriting is naturally a blend of print and cursive. Writing the stacked a would just slow me down too much, so apparently I'm not part of the "cool crowd." :P

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It must have been the schools I went to, but I was always corrected whenever I crossed a 7 (I tried borrowing that from my dad, who uses that in accounting) or went with the two-story a. Maybe a product of the integration of more computers will be more variety in writing styles, since there'll be less emphasis on standardized penmanship.

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Interesting...maybe one day I should try to write a lowercase stacked "a".

Of course, first I'd actually have to get used to writing lowercase letters period...alas, I am one of those who write in all caps.

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Of course, first I'd actually have to get used to writing lowercase letters period...alas, I am one of those who write in all caps.

Likewise, though I've been known to use mixed-case for certain situations.
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Interesting thread. I use the single stacked "a" but I developed a unique style doing lower case "d" in my hand writing. It was after learning the the Cyrillic alphabet in high school that I changed it and its total habit now.

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To get a bit more technical, oblique usually refers to a font that is skewed or angled to simulate italic type. True italic type is actually redrawn, generally with more curves or terminal endings, so the letters flow into each other better. A true italic font will look more scripted than the traditional upright version.

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