The “Tweed” column from the Chronicle of Higher Education had an amusing story of a Blackletter glyph variant glitch on the new University of Idaho diplomas (specifically “Congrabulations on Your Grabuation!”)

As with many U.S. diplomas, the university name was rendered in a Blackletter (aka “Old English” or Gothic”) calligraphic style font. This font though had a particularly high flourish on the lower case “v”, high enough that recipients wondered if they had written a “b” instead of “v” (and who wants a diploma from the Unibersity of Iowa?).

According to the Chronicle, the administration reassured them that it was an archaic “v”, but this case does highlight the legibility issues of some older manuscript fonts and the need to balance historical font authenticity with modern needs.

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