Exercise: A typographic jigsaw puzzle

For this exercise I was asked to analyse the pangram “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” and using a page of deconstructed characters trace the correct shapes onto the page.

I fetched a ruler and removed the deconstructed text from my folder so I could lay the tracing paper comfortably without it moving, using a blue pencil I took the. “e” and “o” characters and made a mark from the baseline and another at the top of the character this would be the “x” height, and from there I could establish the median line from there I took the tallest character and established my ascender line, by marking at the top of the terminal.

Now it was just a case of careful observation, I looked at the serifs the letter height and case. I messed up the very first character, I mistook it for a t but now I realise it was likely the tail from the “u” figure. The head serif of the “t” would take it over the median line, I repeated this mistake later on, not realising until I studied afterwards.

The foot serifs were a good indication. as some had a single foot and some double, the bowl shapes also helped distinguish a “c” from the other bowled charcaters such as “d” and “q” although the example was quite small, and the subtle changes in the serifs and terminals were easily missed.

All in all I had a lot of fun putting this puzzle back together and it was a worthwhile anatomical typographic lesson.

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