Thorns: how to get them right



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TYPE DESIGN

Thorn and eth
Making thorns
Making an Eth
Making an eth
Eth troubles



The lower case thorn is easy. Start with the letter p, and add an ascender.






The cap thorn can usually be made from the letters I and P. (Don’t stick the bowl of the letter P on an I. The right baseline serif of a cap thorn should be as long as it is on the letter P.)




Scripts have their own rules. The example on the left shows the letter I with a bowl attached. This is not how a cap thorn should be made.
    The letter in the middle shows a proper cap thorn. It should begin with a flourish of the kind that the letters CEG and L commonly have. Use the smallest, from the letter E: the bowl doesn’t leave much room. It shouldn’t rise higher than the lowest part of the flourish. (This one is borrowed from the letter B, and stretched.)
    The cap thorn should have a descender. If a loop is too much trouble, the upstroke can be a part of the stem, as it is in the letter on the right.