Chapter: Micro-Typography

Special Characters

name of your book, your name University of Kansas, 2023

(Colophon: Add to the beginning or end of the book.)
Designed by Your Name. Class project for Typographic Systems at the University of Kansas, 2023. The text was compiled from the following sources: Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst, Getting it Right with Type: the Do's and Don'ts of Typography by Victoria Square, Mac is Not A Typewriter by Robin Williams. This book is not to be sold to the public and to only be used by the designer for their reference and student design portfolio.

All the content below must be in your workbook. However you can organize it in any way you want. Each section can be a chapter or you can organize the content into groups and those become chapters.


01 rules check sheet
02 glossary of typographic rules

03 special characters
04 column width and hyphenation
05 hyphens and dashes  
06 quotes and apostrophes
07 kerning

08 figures and tabular tables
09 justification, letterspacing, word spacing
10 paragraph breaks

11 anatomy of type
12 typographic color
13 font classifications
14 glossary of terms (optional)

03. Special Characters

︎︎︎notes *you will need to recreate this an x is in place of the "real" character
︎︎︎use tabs to tab text over to align <- learn how to use tabs



The following is a list of the most often-used special characters and accent marks. On the following pages are the key combinations for just about every accent you might need.

Special Charactersx Option [  opening double quote
x Option Shift [ closing double quote
x Option ] opening single quote
x Option Shift ] closing single quote; apostrophe
x Option Hyphen en dash
x Option Shift Hyphen em dash
x Option ; ellipsis
x Option 8  bullet (asterisk key)
x Option Shift 5 ligature of f and i
x Option Shift 6 ligature of f and l
x Option g  copyright
x Option 2  trademark
x Option r registered
x Option Shift 8  degree symbol (e.g., 102°F)
x Option $  cent symbol
x Option Shift 2  Euro symbol

Diacritics, or Accent Marks
Diacritics are small marks that appear above or below glyphs, usually to alter pronunciation. They’re required in many languages, and we must ensure the typeface we’re using includes the diacritics we need for all the languages we need to typeset. Polish, Welsh, and Turkish, for instance, have diacritics absent from many common fonts.

To set an accent mark over a letter, press the Option key and the letter, then press the letter you want under it. Or search for the accented Glyph.
´ Option e (try resume, frappe, souffle, papa)
` Option e (try Deja vu) Déjà
¨ Option u (try uber, naive,)
˜ Option n (try nino pinata, jalapeno)
ç Option c (try facade)

Use copyright, register, and trademark marks properly
The copyright, register, and trademark characters need to be reduced to work with body text. At times, depending on the typeface, you may need to reduce the mark between 50% and 70%. The goal is to match the x-height. The copyright mark should be approximately 70% of the surrounding text. Unlike the ™ symbol, the © should NOT be superscripted and should remain on the baseline. ™ is usually superscripted for the chosen font. ™ and ® are normally set higher than other marks. If you choose to superscript ®, reduce it to about 60% of the size.

A trademark is a form of intellectual property protection that covers words, phrases, symbols, or designs that distinguish a particular brand (or source of goods) in comparison to others. A trademark protects items such as Brand names, Logos, Business names, and Slogans. In short, a trademark can apply to anything that essentially brands a business or identifies a product or company. Here are some well-known examples: The Tabasco bottle with the hexagonal screw top is trademarked. “Footlong,” all one word, is trademarked by Subway sandwiches. McDonalds Golden Arch symbol is trademarked.

Copyright protects original work, whereas a trademark protects items that distinguish or identify a particular business from another. Copyright is generated automatically upon the creation of original work, whereas a trademark is established through common use of a mark in the course of business. Copyright expires after a set period of time, whereas a trademark doesn't expire provided the mark continues to be used.

A bullet is a large dot or other symbol that is used to draw attention to a list of items. These items may have been extracted from the text, or they may be a separate list that is independent of the text. While many designers are content to use the default bullet style, size, and position that comes with a font, there are many other options that can help highlight information in a more stylish, distinctive, and impactful way.

The simplest option is to use the bullet that is included with the chosen font. Although some default bullets are just the right size in proportion to the text, others are not. A bullet that is too large might overpower the text (especially if the bullet and text are the same color). One that is too small might appear more like a pin dot or speck and be hardly noticeable, which totally defeats the purpose of a bulleted list. If either of these scenarios occurs, resize the bullet so that it creates just the right degree of contrast, balance, and emphasis. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that if a bullet comes with the font, it is the right size.

To exercise a bit more creativity, try substituting other symbols or dingbats for the typical round bullet. Simple shapes such as squares, diamonds, and triangles work well, as do more representational graphics including arrows, check marks, and pointers.