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Shuffled ligatures

The new ads are the first I’ve noticed of this, but the iPod shuffle’s logotype has a rather peculiar ‘ffl’ ligature; whereby peculiar I mean quite attractive. And, for that matter, de rigueur in all manner of other pro —usually serif— fonts like Adobe Garamond Pro.

Apple’s iPod shuffle logotype is almost pixel-for-pixel identical to one I banged up in Photoshop in five minutes, except for that curious ‘ffl’ ligature

The peculiarity is largely so (as far as I’m concerned) because my copy of Myriad Pro doesn’t exhibit the same behavior: the stock-standard Adobe Myriad Pro ‘ffl’ ligature, as well as its ‘ff’ ligature, only join double-f at the bar. In Apple’s case, the ascender of the first ‘f’ meets up with the second in much the same way that the second ‘f’ meets with the ‘l’. It’s a nice touch.

Too, the weights seem a little off even at the same x-height, but I’m willing to chalk that up to scaling, anti-aliasing, and the like. I don’t have a copy of the shuffle logotype any larger than the one you see above. So I’m not going to pretend the renderings should be identical.

Whether this ligaturial (ahuh) oddity is due to some creative fudging in Illustrator to make the logotype pop a little more, or whether Apple commissioned its own proprietary variant of Myriad, remains to be seen. Anybody with insider info is more than welcome to email me and put me out of my misery.

Greater Update

A little birdy tells me that Apple, until recently, was using a Myriad variant known as (wait for it) Myriad Apple; later upgrading to another by the name of Myriad Set.

Wikipedia, for good or for ill, reports differently that Myriad Apple is Myriad Set, distinguishing itself from Myriad Pro with its “minor spacing and weight differences,” and was created by Galápagos Design Group.

Lesser Update

On second inspection it’s particularly odd that I should only notice this now, given that I used a shuffle as my full-time musical companion for six months before the nano arrived, but we’ll chalk that one up to my being a dork. I’d like to believe that if I were more able to spot tiny details like that on the first pass, I’d be less prone to getting in trouble when my girlfriend has her hair cut/layered/highlighted/straightened and I don’t notice.