3 historical banner headlines on New York Times front pages consisted of an unusual typographic feature: a set of joined letters called a ligature.
Ligatures are used to improve the appearance and letterspacing of characters that would otherwise awkwardly pair. The advantages of joined letters are not purely cosmetic. More uniformly spaced letters can enhance the readability of text, especially in a single word printed large.
The “EA” ligature go back to December 2019, when your home was preparing to vote on the first impeachment of Mr. Trump. The Times, too, was preparing its own protection, consisting of a big, strong heading for the top of Page One: “TRUMP IMPEACHED.”
However there was a modest typographical speed bump. Tom Bodkin, the chief innovative officer of The Times, who is accountable for the design of the front page, and Wayne Kamidoi, an art director, were battling with an awkward gap in the middle of “IMPEACHED.”.
” The first 3 characters and the last 3 characters set up naturally pretty tightly. The middle three characters, simply by the nature of their forms, set up loosely,” Mr. Bodkin said.
Ligatures are used to enhance the look and letterspacing of characters that would otherwise awkwardly set. More equally spaced letters can enhance the readability of text, specifically in a single word printed large.
The ligature had a life beyond Mr. Trumps first impeachment. It appeared in a November banner headline, “BIDEN BEATS TRUMP,” to announce the results of the governmental election. And, of course, it ran when more when Mr. Trump was impeached for the 2nd time.
Andrew Sondern is an art director for print.
Jan. 21, 2021
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The banner heading on the Jan. 14 front page summed up President Donald J. Trumps second impeachment in simply nine letters.
Or was it 8?
Even as the stem of the “A” slopes away from the “E,” the long bar of the “E” prevents the 2 characters from coming closer. This leaves a noticeable gap between the letters, even as the rest of the word is securely spaced.
Some readers may have spied an unusual letterform in the historical headline: an “E” and “A” joined at the standard and integrated into a single character, referred to as a ligature.
” It looks like 2 words due to the fact that of the area in between the E and the A. Thats not good for legibility, and its not attractive,” Mr. Bodkin stated. “We needed to overlap those 2 characters in some kind.”.
Mr. Bodkin turned to Jason Fujikuni, an art director on the brand identity group, to draw the new combined character.
” I just thought it would live that a person day, but it was fun to see it for a couple other big pages,” Mr. Fujikuni stated.
The ligature had a life beyond Mr. Trumps very first impeachment. It appeared in a November banner headline, “BIDEN BEATS TRUMP,” to announce the outcomes of the presidential election. And, naturally, it ran when more when Mr. Trump was impeached for the second time.