Margate Weekly Advertiser typesetter Kevin Hoggs is believed to have set the longest continuous line of IJ ligatures in the history of print.
The record, which must remain unofficial pending confirmation by the Guinness Book of Records, comprises 8,404 Ĳ ligatures. The previous record is believed to have been only two IJ ligatures, set by a printer in IJmuiden, the Netherlands, in 1506. However, the earlier record was never officially recognised as it was considered a typographical error and the unknown setter was dismissed by his employer.
'If it's true that the previous record was never made official then this is a double first,' said Mr Hoggs. 'It will be the greatest ever number of contiguous IJ ligatures and the first ever world record of its kind.'
Commenting on the achievement, Professor Eugene Reid of the North Anglia College of Art and Design explained that the record was made possible by technological innovations introduced after 1506. 'In the sixteenth century, ligatures had to be cut by hand,' said Prof Reid, 'making it extremely difficult to set such an impressive record. Today, ligatures can be cast automatically by computers on demand and in a fraction of a second, making Mr Hoggs's remarkable achievement feasible.'
Records involving other typographical ligatures are expected to follow, and Mr Hoggs is already planning a matrix of Euro currency symbols, just as soon as he can find the correct key combination.
A detail from Mr Hoggs's record-breaking bid. Only a small sample can be shown for copyright reasons.
Copyright © 2013 K Hoggs and North Anglia College of Art and Design