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Gaelic Typefaces: History and Classification [Michael Everson]

Detailed historical listing of Gaelic typefaces by Michael Everson. He says that it is not always easy to classify Gaelic typefaces. His classification proposal:

    First order classification
    • Gaelic fonts have Insular letterforms: delta-form d; s-form g; dotless i; round t with no ascender above the crossbar.
    • Pseudo-Gaelic fonts may be identical to Gaelic ones in other respects, but are inauthentic in that they have Carolingian letterforms: a bowled g and/or either a round t with its ascender piercing the crossbar or a rectilinear T. May have a tall f or a two-stroke vertical b and d. May have a dotted i (this is a cardinal sin).
    • Roman fonts use unmodified Roman forms, but have dots above and acute accents required for Irish Gaelic. If dotted i is used, its dot and the dot of lenition must be harmonized with regard to height.
    • Hybrid fonts use both Roman letterforms and Gaelic letterforms. The earliest typefaces mix special Gaelic glyphs with existing Roman ones. A few typefaces give Roman capital letters with Gaelic small letters; even if the strokes of the capital letters are "gaelicized", if they are not strictly speaking Gaelic, Hybrid is used to classify the face.
    Second order classification
    • Manuscript fonts are generally spiky or angular; often irregular.
    • Transitional fonts are designs intermediate between typefaces that reproduce calligraphic manuscript hands and rectified, regularized typographical typefaces.
    • Modern fonts are regularized typographically.
    Third order classification
    • Angular fonts have the inverted-v type a, though sometimes this contrasts with round-humped h, m, n.
    • Round fonts have the script type a.
    • Uncial fonts give a strong suggestion of pen-based strokes. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between Manuscript and Uncial but the latter is a "pre-Gaelic" class (there are non-Insular Uncials)
    • Monowidth fonts are typewriter typefaces.
    • Sans-serif fonts have no serifs.
    • Grotesque fonts have no serifs.

Gaelic Typefaces: History and Classification
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History of type ⦿ Celtic/Gaelic fonts ⦿ Type in Ireland ⦿ Carolingian typefaces ⦿ Uncial typefaces ⦿

Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html