The Twenty second Letter — V

In the Medieval period two forms of the letter U represented the v sound: one with a rounded bottom, and one that look like our modern V. It wasn’t until relatively modern times that the angular V was retained to represent our V sound, and he rounded version officially relegated to the sole function of the vowel U.


The letter V is considered to be a medium width character. About three-fourths width as it is high. In serif forms its apex is nearly always pointed. When this is the case the point always extends beyond the baseline as far as the round characters in order to insure the optical height of the letter, and the constant baseline in text copy. In certain typefaces the designer has drawn the serifs longer on the inside of the strokes to compensate for the imbalance of the undercut that the V naturally has, when set next to rounded letters in particular. 

With credit to Allen Haley,
Upper & Lower Case magazine, a typographic centered publication last published from 1970 to 1999.

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
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