Styles of the Lowercase “a”

I’ve noticed that many posters, advertisements, etc — as well as many fonts — use the lowercase letter “a” as shown in “figure 1”. However, I’ve always hand-written it as what it looks like in “figure 2”. Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that I almost never seen the second version in application. It doesn’t seem to be a serif/sans issue, as I’ve seen plenty of sans serif fonts that use a variation of the first “a”.

Is there a reason for this? Why are there two very-different versions of the same letter? Is there a reason why the first one is much more prevalent in fonts and graphic-applications?

two ways of writing the letter "a"


Historically, the single storey a was the italics version, as it more emulated handwriting.

Many geometric sans faces also adopted the single storey version.

But there’s no hard-and-fast rule one way or the other. Both are acceptable glyphs.

Source : Link , Question Author : sharedphysics , Answer Author : DA01

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