Diacritic resources


I’m looking for resources on diacritic combinations, specifically combinations of capital letters and lowercase accented glyphs that actually appear in Latin-based languages so that I’m only kerning what I need to.

I’m already familiar with Context of Diacritics and Andre Fuchs’ research into Relevant Kerning Pairs, and I own a copy of Manual of Diacritics – which I would highly recommend – but does anyone know of any resources that might help with the above?

One approach that I thought I could take is to capitalise the first letter of all the character combinations found on Context of Diacritics, but I’m assuming that would create pairs that are unlikely to ever be used, hence creating unnecessary kerning pairs.

Additionally, does anyone know of any resources or guidelines regarding ligatures for certain character combinations where accents may clash? For example, Tī feels like it would benefit from a custom ligature rather than looser kerning – if indeed it is a pair that ever appears in any languages.

Any help would be really appreciated!


What kind of diacritics do you mean? Most accented letters can be kerned with kerning classes. Specifically with capitals, there are only very few that are relevant for kerning (e.g.:the ones with horn).

Don’t have any other resources to share, but some thoughts from personal experience: rather than looking for real use cases, it might be easier to start with what accents can collide in the first place. Those are mostly ‘i’s (and a few others), and if you draw the accents compact enough, the amount of special treatment/kerning gets really small.

Thinking any lowercase accented character that would commonly follow a capital letter. Particularly anything that follows T, P, V, W etc. Want to limit kerning exceptions, so hoping there might be studies that have documented the most common instances of this. Examples like Context of Diacritics shows all its examples with no capitals at all. Likely because most accented characters - particularly two next to each other - seem to appear in the middle or end of words.

I forgot to say that I’ve found your approach really helpful. I did end up creating a list of all diacritic combinations featured on context of diacritics and then creating versions of all the combinations in lc/lc UC/lc UC/UC/ lc/UC as a test and interestingly it’s largely just the accented versions of i that needed addressing – particularly i with an umlaut and other wide accents. So I ended up looking at the designs for those accents and everything felt a lot better.

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Maybe Kern On could be something for you. It needs a bit of practise but is very useful, once you get the hang of it. An it takes care of moste of your worries…

I would love to use Kern On – as I loved what I saw in the trial version – but you have to be VAT registered to purchase it if you live within the UK.