What does the fox say? I guess we’ll never know because, after 77 years in business, Fox’s Clothing has closed its doors. All that remains is this ghost signage on Court St. between Vine and Race in downtown Cincinnati.
Fox’s sold school uniforms and such, but what always caught my eye was the ligature-like logo. Let’s go to the close-up:
I know it’s unintentional, but it looks like VFox’s to me. A VF ligature?!? Ridiculous! A ligature is a single glyph that replaces a specific letter combination, usually to solve the problem of letters running together, as in these common examples using Mrs. Eaves, Zuzanna Licko’s interpretation of the classic Baskerville:
More Mrs. Eaves to show ligatures that are primarily decorative, handy for those of us who like to play with our letters. The alternate versions of these letter combinations are definitely more formally pleasing:
As you can see, Futura by Paul Renner doesn’t really need fi and fl ligatures, but they’re fun to use when appropriate, highlighting the geometric concept of the typeface:
Of course, a VF ligature doesn’t really make sense but, hey, why not? A VL ligature doesn’t make sense either, but that’s essentially what I cobbled together when I designed the VisuaLingual logo:
That’s enough nerdy design talk! Back to my question. No one’s really sure what the fox says, but here are some guesses. Warning: you won’t be able to unhear this ridiculously catchy song: