Jump to content
Join our community of friends of typography!

Pronouncing Typefaces

Recommended Posts

>I do feel self-conscious sometimes about saying it that way

We Americans, bless us, want to show our respect for foreigners by trying to pronounce their names their way. The English tend to unapologetically Anglicize foreign names. (At least traditionally; don't know whether that's changed.) Either way is ok, in my view. The problem with typeface names is that they have been so little spoken that for many there is no standard way to Anglicize them, in the sense that you can look it up and get something authoritative.

So I say do what you are comfortable with--GAIR-a-mond or Gahr a MON (nasal 'on'), oo-ni-VAIR or universe--and enjoy the type!

Link to comment

That Bitstream song, Mr. Simonson, is pure gold.

Can we have an Adobe -- FontShop -- ITC/Monotype sing off at the next TypeCon? I can already see how ITC/Monotype could potentially pull an all nighter :)

On the same note -- sorry to veer off here -- check this out, a song called, rather inapropriately, Kern That Bembo Tighter.

By the way, how do you pronounce Fountain's Waldstein? 'Woldsteen', 'Waaldstein' or 'Vaaldstein' as it is spoken in Germany (maybe)?

Link to comment

And... (now you've got me thinking...)

Walbaum: WAHL-bowm or VAHL-bawm (the German way)?

Goudy: GOW-dy (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederic_Goudy)

Barmeno: bar-MEEN-oh or bar-MEN-oh?

Berthold: BER-told or BEART (rhymes with "bear")-hold?

Bodoni: bo-DOH-nee (I presume the Italian way) or bo-DONE (rhymes with "bone")-ee?

Caslon: CAS-lun or CAS-lawn?

Fago: FAY-go or FAH-go?

Scala: SCAY-luh or SCA-lah?

Keivit: KYEH-vit?

Fenice: rhymes with Venice? or fen-EES

Univers: your pronunciations are very helpful, but I've always called it (erroneously, I suppose) YOU-ni-verz

And lastly, Comic Sans: KO-mic SANDS or ko-MEEK SAWN (nasally)... you know, lipstick on a pig and all...

I could go on all day!

Link to comment

"ko-MEEK SAWN"

I love this, it's like Tarr-Szay. Maybe it will help the reputation of Comic Sans. If we put enough lipstick on this pig, who knows?

Mike Abbink could share the story of Kievit; it's very sweet. Is he listening?.....

I'm afraid I'm only adding to the mess. My new typeface has a name that apparently nobody can pronounce when they first read it. Beorcana is not that strange when you realize it's pronounced like Bjork, with -ana on the end: Byor-KON-uh. But my family and friends keep mangling the name when they say it. Maybe I should have named it ESPN. ;D

Link to comment

Wow! Feh-KNEE-chay? I would never have guessed. I suppose that's why we need this thread after all. Beginning designers rarely hear the name spoken; they just see it listed in a font menu.

Two more that came up this morning:

Sabon: with or without a nasal ending?

Futura: FYOO-too-rah or or FYOO-tchur-ah or FOO-tchur-ah?

In fact, name pronunciation came up in a class today, where a guy apologized for pronouncing St. Augustine, AW-gus-teen (which is how the city in Florida is pronounced), rather than the more popular (in academic circles, anyhow), uh-GUS-tin. Naturally, I immediately wanted to create a font with that name to fit Mark's Maxim above.

Link to comment

If I may crash in: FRUIT-iger, the German way.

And a couple more on German: VAHL-bowm would be best.

KAH-bull is fine, and KAH-bell is possible — depending on Koch having a northern or southern German accent? But the a in Zapf is short by all means, actually closer to CAT: so, TSAPF.

Incidentally, the same should have applied for Bach, the English pronunciation is a little wide of the mark. Just in case someone might fancy naming a typeface after him. We already have Handel Gothic :)

A little Latin (or Italian?): Beata is Bay-AH-tah. Wonder if Futura should be Latin with a touch of German accent?

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Support educational typography content and get access to a growing collection of exclusive content (like articles, galleries and font downloads).
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We are placing functional cookies on your device to help make this website better.