Our type designers often find themselves drawing the letter R. Perhaps it’s because the R synopsizes the rest of the alphabet in a single character: it’s got a tall vertical stem, a round bowl, and a diagonal stroke, a sort of typographic sampler in one convenient character. The tail of the R is also one of the most evocative and distinguishing single gestures in an alphabet: it must be exactly as flamboyant, austere, stiff, extroverted, or recalcitrant as the rest of the alphabet.
Designers at H&Co. often have a lot of fun in the back acreage of a typeface. Ampersands, daggers, paragraph marks, and eszetts often get a disproportionate amount attention, because their shapes can be so varied, and they’re so much fun to draw. It’s also a challenge to see if you can distill the essence of a typeface down to something that can be applied to a bracket, say, or a percent sign. Take a spin through some fonts’ character sets, and you’ll see.