Building the Alphabet:
lowercase part 5

Last week I did “m”, “r” and “u”, highlighting some nuanced but vital differences in arc forms in the process. This week I stuck with my plan and did “g” and “y” to get some descenders out of the way.

I did these with the thought that they might have some similarity of form in the descender to work with. Nope. I’m not sure why I assumed that. It wasn’t very well thought through. But it didn’t hurt anything either—I got them done.

Single story “g”

Once again, practice played into the creation of the forms. Having already done a single story “a”, the single story “g” wasn’t too difficult. The top portion was basically the “a” with one key difference: the joint on the bottom of the bowl is a bit more fleshed out. It’s a subtle and not hugely important difference. And it was largely a design decision on my part. It just seemed to look better.

Knowing what I needed with the top portion, I was able to focus on getting the curve of the descender right. I wanted it to follow the lower curve of the bowl above it, creating almost two parallel lines. This was one of the reasons for making the joint the way I did, so those lines could remain parallel.

Y oh y?

The “y” involved more experimentation than “g”. I had not practiced any of the shapes going into the “y” before, as this is the first diagonal letter I’ve done for the lowercase.

I tried some curvier shapes, a curved joint, a stroke on the left that doesn’t overlap completely at the joint with the other stroke. None of this seemed to work. I knew generally what I wanted out of the descender, but I had to experiment with how to make it. Should I go from bottom to top? Top to bottom? How should I orient the marker? Should I do it in two strokes, one from one direction and one from the other?

What I settled on was making a “v” and allowing the right stroke to run below the baseline a little. Then I drew the descender from the bottom up to meet that stroke. It worked out pretty well.

Up next

Next on the agenda are the tittles and crossbars: “f”, “t”, “i”, and “j”.






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