File:Insular font 64px.png

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Insular_font_64px.png(512 × 512 pixels, file size: 6 KB, MIME type: image/png)

A sketch of an insular calligraphic typeface for use in a future video game project.

In cases where insular and antiqua forms diverge, I have tried to balance the overall character of the script with readability at low resolution (8x8-pixel cells) and by people unfamiliar with insular script.

  • 'a' is a 1-story "Latin alpha" form, as antiqua 'q' with no descender. It is based on the rounded form used in the Book of Kells, not the pointy insular form that resembles 'д', the Cyrillic letter corresponding to Latin 'd'.
  • 'b' lacks a lower stem, as in insular.
  • 'd f g t' are the distinctive insular forms. Incidentally, Unicode 4.1 and 5.1 gave these their own code points 'ꝺ ꝼ ᵹ ꞇ' to encode an attempted 18th century spelling reform of Cornish.
    • 'd' is 'o' with half a crossbar at top left.
    • 'f' is the antiqua 'r' with a descending stem and a crossbar extending to the right of the stem along the baseline.
    • 'g' is a short 's' with a crossbar, stretched to the descender. Homograph to tengwa alda.
    • 't' is 'c' with an x-height crossbar. Similar to tengwa lambe except without descent.
  • 'e' has the long, horizontal crossbar typical of insular, extending past the right side of the upper curve, not the upward slanted crossbar of italic minuscule and Comic Sans.
  • 'i' is dotless. Turkish would need styling to draw a dot.
  • 'l' is the bottom half of a 'c' with an ascending stem.
  • 'n' is the more common round minuscule form, not the insular-majuscule form that resembles a pointy backward 'u'.
  • 'r s' are short because past use of an insular long 'r' in Nibbles led to misspellings in GoodNES. The short insular 'r' resembles a small capital 'ʀ'.
    • Long 'r' would have been a minuscule 'n' with a descending stem. Homograph to tengwa tinco.
    • Long 's' would have been the antiqua 'r' with a descending stem, like an insular 'f' without the crossbar.

Some letters had to be created from whole cloth because only the 18 letters used in the Irish language exist consistently in insular script:

  • 'j' has somewhat of a tail, not a grand swoosh but not just a lowered stem either.
  • 'k' is a short 'r' with an ascending stem, modeled after a cursive k.
  • 'q' is 'a' with a descending stem.
  • 'v' is round. It resembles 'u' without the stem at right.
  • 'w' is 'v' with an extra bowl.
  • 'x' I forget
  • 'y' is 'u' with a tail similar to the bottom of 'g', 's', and '3'. An alternative might have resembled tengwa romen or a reversed Hebrew letter tsade.
  • 'z' is the antiqua form with its top bar extended like that of 'd t'.
  • Digits are lowercase figures, which fit in better with an all-minuscule font.

Initial capitals are not used in this specimen. But when they are used in insular, most are an enlarged or stretched version of the lowercase, with the top of the stem and bowl about as tall relative to the cap-height as the lowercase is to the x-height. The uppercase 'G' is just lowercase slid upward. This leaves how to distinguish 'H' from 'N' or 'R' from 'K', things that don't matter in Irish because Irish has no initial 'H' or 'K'.

Smaller versions: 32px (1bpp), 16px (1bpp), 8px (2bpp, 3 levels)

This glyph sheet is being used as a test case to develop an experimental autotracer. See File:Tracing letter a with Tracy.png and File:Insular font 64px Tracy.svg.

By Damian Yerrick, no rights reserved (Creative Commons Zero)

File history

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Date/TimeThumbnailDimensionsUserComment
current02:54, 23 July 2014Thumbnail for version as of 02:54, 23 July 2014512 × 512 (6 KB)Tepples (talk | contribs)Fixes to inside of 'o' (and similarly shaped letters) and other smoothness (i, z, 3, 5). It may take me a few tries to get the & right; I'll sleep on it.
01:43, 23 July 2014Thumbnail for version as of 01:43, 23 July 2014512 × 512 (6 KB)Tepples (talk | contribs)A sketch of an insular typeface for use in a future video game project. By Damian Yerrick, no rights reserved
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