Quotation Marks

I know that this will be thought a stupid question by many, so I will just admit to being an idiot right from the start and take my medicine as it is dished out.

I have several type fonts, but none of them seem to have a “quotation mark” character. Also, California job case schema don’t seem to have a place for them.

This seems odd to me, and as most of my books are fiction, I would use such a character quite often for dialogue. With my previous publications, I used an electronic font made into a polymer plate, so this was not an issue, but I recently set type for the first page of What Heroes Do and ran into that metaphorical brick wall.

I suppose I could use apostrophes or upside-down commas, but I can’t find any reference to the “accepted” way to produce the ” character with movable type.

How do you more experienced folks do this? Can I maybe buy some “generic” quotation marks in different sizes, kind of like setting the @ symbol?


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California job cases have a space for one of the quotation marks to the left of the lower case k. For the other quotation mark, use an upside down comma.

Type fonts should come with the opposite quotation mark. You have to use two of them if you want a double mark. I seem to remember that some fonts do have a double quotation mark character, but not all.

In the fonts you have, is it possible that there might be some opposite quotation marks mixed in with the commas? That is an easy thing to have happen, and you certainly wouldn’t be the first to find this.

Fonts usually don’t come with very many quotation marks, so if you are setting a conversation between people, for instance, you may very well need to obtain extra marks. There are people who run small type casting businesses who will cast characters to order, and they should be in the classifieds on this site. If you can’t find them, let me know and I will try to dig them up for you.

Apostrophes serve as ‘closing’ quote-marks, but not every fount comes with a tailor-made ‘opening’ quote-mark.

As a last resort, an upside-down comma will do the trick as an opening quote-mark, but they usually look too ‘low’, especially as they often precede a capital letter, which emphasises this.

Far better, as Geoffrey says, to have a supply specially cast.

Well, I have found no reference to anyone who will cast double quote characters. It IS possible that I have some single quote characters mixed in with commas/apostrophes, but not many, if any.

I just cannot believe that a double quote character is intentionally missing from ANY font. Nobody thought to make that character back in the day? It seems to me that this character would be heavily used in any novel where dialogue is being typeset.

General Printing does not even address this topic… which is another puzzle.

I guess some things are just meant to be mysterious.

Yes, but opening and closing double-quote marks would have required two extra compartments in an already packed typecase!

Besides, it is little extra effort for the comp to set two single quote-marks together.