“Tally Marks” OpenType-SVG Font

As a follow up to my Ideographic Tally Marks article from over two years ago, the characters for two tally mark systems—ideographic (called 正の字 sei-no ji in Japanese, and 正字 zhèng zì in Chinese) and Western-style—are among the 684 new characters in Unicode Version 11.0 that was released exactly a week ago, and these seven new characters can be found in the existing Counting Rod Numerals block from U+1D372 through U+1D378.

I have been on sabbatical since 2018-05-18, and return to work at Adobe on 2018-07-09. One of my “projects” during my sabbatical is to build and release as open source an OpenType font that includes the glyphs for the tally mark characters. This is actually easy and unchallenging, mainly because I already prepared fully-functional OpenType/CFF fonts that are PDF attachments of the final proposals, L2/16-046 and L2/16-065.

Instead, I decided to build an OpenType-SVG font that includes color versions of the glyphs for the tally marks. The font includes three OpenType GSUB features. One is the 'ccmp' (Glyph Composition/Decomposition) GSUB feature that serves to turn sequences of two through five instances of U+1D377 𝍷 TALLY MARK ONE into the corresponding forms that include two through five strokes. The glyph that corresponds to a sequence of five instances of U+1D377 𝍷 TALLY MARK ONE is the same glyph that maps from U+1D378 𝍸 TALLY MARK FIVE. The other two features are the named 'ss01' (Black and White) and 'ss02' (Color Emoji) Stylistic Set GSUB features for accessing or listing the Black & White or Color glyphs, respectively. (And yes, I am aware that these characters do not have the Emoji property… …yet.)

Anyway, you can find the ready-to-install TallyMarks-Regular.otf OpenType-SVG font on the latest release page of the Tally Marks open source project that was published earlier today.



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