Next week, it will be exactly four years since the Capital Sharp S was added to the Unicode specification. Within that rather short period of time, it …
- has been added to over 170 new type families
- included in the main typefaces of the world’s most used PC operating system Windows and office suite
- recommended as standard spelling by governmental bodies (for example for geographical names)
- adopted and used by many individual users, newspapers (such as Gießener Zeitung), institutions (like the Bauhaus University in Weimar) and so on
- and now even the public relation office of the German government specifically asked for the inclusion of this character in the new corporate typefaces of the German government called BundesSans and BundesSerif.
Martin Wenzel and Jürgen Huber called their design Zehlendorfer Form, named after the district in Berlin where their office is located. The design feels like it falls right between the usual Dresdner Form and Leipziger Form. In an interview they explained, they chose this design, because it can easily be written and fits in with the other capital letters. They also mentioned, that is is important that the Capital Sharp S is drawn as a wide character, so it will get the appearance of a capital letter in contrast to the lowercase ß.
So there you have it: An interesting new design principle for the Capital Sharp S. From my point of view, it works very well, especially since it cannot be mistaken for a B.