Typeface identification

Peter Flynn peter at silmaril.ie
Tue Apr 25 15:48:24 CEST 2023

> As a sideline, I am working on a simple recognition/identity system
> for faces based on the appearance of some letterforms — for example
> the double-loop or fish-hook lowercase "g" — designed to let
> beginners identify the typeface they want.
Beginners usually lack the technical vocabulary to describe their 
difficulties, especially when English is not their native language, and 
they often use the only words they can think of, which sometimes leads 
to confusion.

Unlike other classifications (Vox, especially) I am not trying to group 
the faces into categories, but to provide some features which can be 
used to locate a specific face.

(It was triggered by requests like "What's that typeface where the bar 
on the e is slanted and the capitals are lower than the ascenders and 
the f is so narrow you hardly need ff fl fi ffl ffi?")

As a test, I'm slowly working through the faces listed in the LaTeX Font 
Catalogue, building on the list of features as I go. So far:

a-form	hooked/round
e-form	horixontal/sloped
g-form	fish-hook/double-loop
Ascenders	above/cap-height/below
Serifs	bracketed/square/hairline
R-form	straight/convex/concave/s-shape
c-form	bulb/stroke

I am not trying to capture all design features, just those that are 
immediately explainable and visible to a beginner.

If anyone else has done this before, please scream now :-)

Peter Flynn
Cork 🇮🇪 Ireland 🇪🇺

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