Proofing Civilité

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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.


uppercase letters

Civil upper.png

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I      L

M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   V

lowercase letters (median)

Civil lower.png

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 Civil j.png 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 jl (il), jdiot (idiot), etc. proof it as an i when both conditions are met at the same time:

  1. the letter is the first letter of the word, and
  2. it is clearly a vowel.

lowercase letters (initial)

Civil initial.png

d   m   n   v

lowercase letters (final)

Civil final.png

a   c   e   i   l   m   n   r   s   s   t

Some ligatures

Civil ligature.png

ch   ct   de   ert   &   ho   rt   st

Some Abbreviations

Some abbreviations similar to blackletter can appear in Civilité. Here are some examples.

Civil abbrev.png

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.