A question for type nerds:
These are the lowercase ligatures in Adobe Caslon Pro. The first seven (fi, fj, fl, ffi, ffj, ffl) are all fine and lovely things, although I do wonder in which languages the ffj ligature would ever be used.
The next two — ct and st — are pretentious, ugly, and stupid. They do the opposite of what good typography should do: they call attention to themselves, and make it harder rather than easier to read body text. I can see why someone might want to use these in a logo or something like that, to add a bit of ersatz “classiness”. But anybody setting type with these things should be shot.
And then there’s the final five — the fh, fi, fl, ff, and ft, all missing the cross stroke on the f. Who on earth came up with this abomination? And why would anybody of sound mind ever use it? The fl is particularly idiotic. These things are not only hard to read; they make it seem like there was some kind of printing error at the typesetter’s.
Is there a name for a ligature formed by removing the cross stroke on the f? I think there should be, if only to identify one of the few typographic montrosities which is unambiguously worse than Comic Sans.
Update: That was quick! Many thanks to Ailean Riepsaame, who tells me that the final five ligatures are actually sh si sl ss st: they’re long-s ligatures and not f ligatures. (Think of the ß in German, which is actually a ligature of a long s and a normal s.)
But: the reason I ask the question is that I recently found a book which used these long-s ligatures as f ligatures. Which, I guess, is simply wrong.
Update 2: Apparently there’s a Transformers toy called Cliffjumper. Custom-made for people who really want to try out their ffj ligature in English! (Thanks, Stefan)