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Punky Functuation

Okay, typographinerds, I can’t quite identify something. This is the punctuation block from a typeface in an old specimen book:

What are the two double-arc symbols on the bottom row, before the asterisk? They look like they’re at the same height as the em-dash….

Any ideas?


  1. dinobib
    April 18th, 2013 | 4:42 pm

    It’s french quotes.
    We call them « chevrons » and sometimes could be soft and rounded as here.

  2. Kess
    April 19th, 2013 | 8:04 am

    The quotation marks usually called guillemets, I gather. They are not always strictly angular.

    That is, « and ».

  3. Nate
    April 23rd, 2013 | 9:04 am

    Interesting; I’ve seen guillemets before (and made them), but I have never seen any that were not angular. In fact, I think Unicode refers to them as “angle quotation marks.”

  4. Denis
    May 2nd, 2013 | 12:29 am

    The guillemets and quotation marks are originally the thing, raised, turned or flipped commas.
    Guillaume Le Bé invented them as centered double commas and they have varied quite a lot since to finally settle as we sort of know them with different uses in different languages.

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