When Vik and José sought out my advice on Vietnamese diacritics for one of their award-winning font families, Bree already supported the Vietnamese language. Upon reviewing the typeface, I noticed its diacritical marks were lacking the handwriting qualities that gave Bree its friendly yet distinctive voice. In addition to their generic shapes, the marks were strangely connected to each other, specifically the acute was attached to the right side of the circumflex and the grave was attached to the left side of the circumflex.
Based on my suggestions, José did a complete overhaul of Bree’s diacritical marks. With attention to the details, he incorporated the handwriting touches and organic shapes from the base letters into the diacritical marks. In particular, he redrew the tilde to give it more curves and added the bottom tail to the hook above to give it a humanist touch. In combined marks, he detached the acute and the grave from the circumflex and repositioned all the stacking accents to the right of the circumflex for consistency, which helped with readability on long-form texts. He also reworked the ư and ơ horns to make sure they were harmonized.
After many rounds of revisions, I was happy to see that the diacritics have become part of the letters. I appreciated José’s commitment to get it right. He sweated every detail to make the diacritical marks flow with the base letters. I can’t wait to see more Vietnamese texts set in Bree.