Civilité was created by Robert Granjon in Lyon in 1557. The font was called initially "french letters" by its inventor, as it imitates the french handwritten style of that time.
A B C D E F G H I L
M N O P Q R S T V
lowercase letters (median)
a b c d e f g h h i i/j (see note) l
m n o p q r s t u v x y z
Note: this letter was apparently used to represent both a consonant (modern j) and an initial i (in the beginning of a word). By default, proof it as a j. However, to avoid producing silly words like
jdiot (idiot), etc. proof it as an i when both conditions are met at the same time:
- the letter is the first letter of the word, and
- it is clearly a vowel.
lowercase letters (initial)
d m n v
lowercase letters (final)
a c e i l m n r s s t
ch ct de ert & ho rt st
Some abbreviations similar to blackletter can appear in Civilité. Here are some examples.
d[*] e[*] p[ar] [ur] [us]
d[*] and e[*] are general abbreviation symbols, meaning "some abreviation with a d", or "some abbreviation with an e". For instance: led[*] = led[it] (same for dud[it], aud[it], ...); vre[*] = v[ost]re; fe[*] = f[air]e; etc.
Here are the most tricky issues (in my opinion):
- The uppercase L and P are smaller than other uppercase letters;
- Lowercase j looks like a big letter, yet it is lowercase;
- Lowercase h has one peculiar squiggly variant (which is also used in ligatures);
- Lowercase r is a bit strange too, especially in final position;
- There's a difference between D and the initial d;
- Many letters have a different shape in final position (i.e. at the end of words): see especially e, s and t.