AW: discussion: design of bent fingers

Stefan Wöhrmann stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Fri Feb 15 00:24:44 UTC 2013

Hi Valerie, 


thank you so much for your interesting and well explained comment. 


I am so sorry to disturb anybody with my graphic I simply created with the
options I can take out of the signpuddle signmaker. I have to realize that
you concentrate on my mistake to create a graphic that looks like as if some
fingers look taller or longer ... or as if there is more or less space...


Perhaps an example – just handwriting – would sgow much better what is on my
mind to ask this question,


Excuse – the length of the fingers or the space between the fingers is not
the point  and perhaps the design-experts would be able to present perfectly
polished well measured fingers... ;-) ... 


What I try to figure out is just the issue – whether there is a basic
difference between this or that writing (design) of the bent fingers (
curves or square) strokes. 


Personally I prefer the status as it is and personally I feel much more
comfortabel to “read” the bent finger with square ...


But since we discuss this in our group I thought it might be a good idea to
discuss this on a higher level. That is the reason to poste this question


Perhaps Jo or Jörn from the delegs-team can motivate people from the design
– team to show some of their suggestions or options how they would prefer to
write these hand shapes with bent finger in a much better style compared to
what I created with signmaker .... smile! 


Thanks a again for your kind and supportive comment. Between the lines
anybody can understand that you try to support anybody who is eager to put
engergy into any project related to your ingenious invention. 


All best Stefan 



Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages
[mailto:SW-L at LISTSERV.VALENCIACOLLEGE.EDU] Im Auftrag von Valerie Sutton
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 14. Februar 2013 05:46
Betreff: Re: discussion: design of bent fingers


SignWriting List

February 13, 2013


Hi Stefan -

What do I think? Thanks for asking ;-) Actually I am not sure what I think -
ha! This is not something I can just answer yes or no to
It would take me
some time to study the old hand symbols from years ago, and our current ISWA
2010 to see what was and what is now
but no matter what, if your team makes
the change, it changes the ISWA 2010 for several reasons
first the fingers
in the new handshape are higher than the fingers in the current ISWA 2010
hand symbol
so just that alone would make it hard to replace one with the
other in the middle of signs already written - you know how we place fingers
very carefully, for example on the face, and if the fingers suddenly are
taller or longer, then the replacement would be a problem and the signs
would have to be re-written - so be careful that any changes you make are
not different in size.


Also, there is more space between the two fingers in the new symbol, which
is not really correct - The idea behind the original symbol is that the two
fingers are close to each other like a bent U, but they do not look close to
each other in the new symbol - although maybe you can improve that ;-)


I do not understand exactly what you are doing with Font Design - We have
font development going on here too, related to the SVG we already have, and
we are working with a form of TrueType to place the ISWA 2010 into TrueType
- meanwhile - I think your work is wonderful with so many new software
developments so it is all good - It is just a matter of knowing what the
goal is


Here is the way I look at it


Think of the current ISWA 2010 as the "current alphabet"
 A Font Design of
A, B, C can have a slightly different look to it, but it cannot be so hard
to read that you can no longer read the words
and the newly designed fonts
have to have symbols that fit inside the spacing of the current words
already written -


Regarding the idea of curved or bent
there is a slight difference in
performance of the handshape, but it is such a slight difference that most
people would not be able to actually physically perform the difference, but
there is a feeling to it perhaps when reading it - I am not sure about that
though - just a thought -


So I have to leave this to you - maybe you can show us more later and it
will become clearer for all of us - I appreciate it very much that you asked
us -


And keep us informed on the List about all you are doing -


Please send my best to your team -


Val ;-)





On Feb 13, 2013, at 3:40 PM, Stefan Wöhrmann
<stefanwoehrmann at> wrote:

Hi Charles, Valerie and sw-list members,


Perhaps this sign can explain better what is on my mind  - the two hands
move inwards – startposition U-hand a little bit curved – in the endposition
the two fingers are really bent as much as possible –


I know and I understand that the symbol with the bent square fingers has
been accepted and is established in order to indicate this clearly.


Our Font- design team would love to write this instead with the curved lines
as you can see on the left...


Would this be correct?  Is there inany way  a kind of violation of
principles? Is this a matter of artwork?






All best Stefan



Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages
[mailto:SW-L at LISTSERV.VALENCIACOLLEGE.EDU] Im Auftrag von Stefan Wöhrmann
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 14. Februar 2013 00:24
Betreff: AW: discussion: design of bent fingers


Hi Charles, Valerie...


please let me explain again – I am not discussing different signs.  I am not
discussing that it is possible to bent the fingers just a little bit or
extremely. I would like to discuss


the possibility to write the  bent index as a bent sqare finger or as a half
–circle curve.  See the sign below. Looking at the left or right hand there
should not be any difference – well perhaps except for the “feeling” – smile





If you bent your fingers – you can write this as bent square fingers.   (We
find this for handshapes with one, two or three fingers) We do not find this
for 4 or 5 fingers –




Well the fingers bent the same way but the design of that given handshape
shows smooth lines instead of “bent square fingers”


Is this because of a design – problem with old software or is there an idea
behind this concept.


I fully agree with your last statement   “  "beautiful" artwork must make
sure that you don't lose articulation. “   That is the reason that I ask for
your opinion smile!


Hi Valerie – what do you think ?


All best







Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages
[mailto:SW-L at LISTSERV.VALENCIACOLLEGE.EDU] Im Auftrag von Charles Butler
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 13. Februar 2013 23:12
Betreff: Re: discussion: design of bent fingers


For me there is an essential difference between a bent finger and a smoothed
finger when you miss the point that two joints are bent, like the difference
between "depend" where the joints smoothly go into a curve, and "friend"
where they clearly link as bent square fingers.
(McDonald's two CURVES) or
0a19n30xn3S2660634x3S26612n64x3S218005xn15S21800n22xn15S2fb00n8xn24> (etc.)
and something with clearly the first and second joints clearly squared. 

This is the sign for Mexican from a sarape (a blanket used as a wrap). It
would not be correct to make the sign without an actual hooked finger as a
"minimal pair", so, for me, "beautiful" artwork must make sure that you
don't lose articulation. 

Charles Butler
chazzer3332000 at
Clear writing moves business forward.

--- On Wed, 2/13/13, Stefan Wöhrmann <stefanwoehrmann at GOOGLEMAIL.COM> wrote:

From: Stefan Wöhrmann <stefanwoehrmann at GOOGLEMAIL.COM>
Subject: discussion: design of bent fingers
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 4:58 PM

Hi Valerie and sw-friends,


I would like to ask for your comments about the following issue.


Within our delegs-projekt a group of specialized design-students have a
second look at the various SW-symbols. From their point of view there are
options to “improve” the design of some symbols in order to make the whole
SW-symbol-font look more “modern” or “nice”


While preparing some studies of the ongoing process they showed up with the
question whether the bent index can be written with smooth curves as well
showing the index finger bent as you designed it as a finger with sharp





I played around with the signmaker to create a little demo of what I am
talking about.  ;-))



Interesting question – so I looked carefully at the Symbolset and discovered
that the “claw hand”  is designed exactly this way  (rounded lines for the

On the other hand the hands with only one, two or at least three fingers
show this other design with sharp 90° angles.


Can you tell us: Is this a matter of history? Coming from the old
“DOS-SW-Software – we could not write nice circles either. You know this
“old symbol” just indicating that you are supposed to see a circle-movement
shown as some dots in a circle.


What about this difference between a clawhand with curves or the same hand
written with edges?





Is there any meaningful difference in the background that you would want us
to know?   Or is this a matter of artwork? ... or  something else?


Would it be any difference if we would write all these bent fingers with
soft rounded lines?


Thank you very much for your attention.


All best







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