On May 27, at the international design conference TYPO Berlin two new typefaces will be launched that are
designed as part of the TilburgsAns project. Both typefaces – TilburgsAnsText and TilburgsAnsIcons – contain
a new punctuation mark: jè.

TilburgsAns, a typeface for a sans serif city

TilburgsAns is an art project. Designer Sander Neijnens ans illustrator Ivo van Leeuwen make a digital portrait of the Dutch city of Tilburg. The character of this city is mirrored in the shapes of the typeface. Besides that, ninty icons of specific Tilburg locations, events, persons and words are incorporated in a special font. As it was not possible to draw an icon for the dialect word ‘jè’, the artist decided to turn it into a new punctuation mark.

Form and function

The jè mark is based on the Tilburg dialect word ‘jè’ (which sounds more or less as ‘yeah’) that is used as a confirmation but often expresses some doubt or mild irony. It bridges the gap between the exclamation point and the question mark. The form of this mark shows the letter j that is rotated 180 degrees, with an elongated curl, so the eye of the e becomes visible.* Following this principle it can easily be constructed within any typeface design. It can also simply be applied in handwriting.

Where is jè. located?

On the standard keyboard there is not yet a key or shortcut for the jè mark. In TilburgsAnsText and TilburgsAnsIcons it is incorporated as a ligature, a replacement character when the j, the e and the period are typed. In this way the mark can be applied in texts – as long as the text is typeset in TilburgsAnsText or TilburgsAnsIcons.

Where will jè. show up?

The jè mark adds a doubtful confirmation to a sentence. It will show in practice if there’s a need for this punctuation mark. It might become a replacement for the interrobang ‽, a punctuation mark that got a place in the unicode tables (U+203D), but not in the daily written language. Or it might get a function in digital correspondence, just like the at sign @ or the hashtag #. The writer decides.

Further information

On the website www.tilburgsans.nl you find the story about the TilburgsAns project.