The middle horizontal on F appears to hit right at the middle.
Exactly! Because F has no bottom horizontal, you can drop the middle one a bit to equalize the two pockets of negative space.
Lowercase f has a crossbar that hangs from the top of the x-height, and an ascender that makes a right turn as it reaches the ascender line.
If you were going to draw a really high-contrast, translation, serif f, you might want to make it look like this.
Oh jeez. Now when an l comes after f, we have a collision. Time to fix that with a ligature, (a new glyph that melds these two together), right?
I guess, but often I find ligatures are more distracting than problem-solving. Worse, they can act like a Band-Aid that covers up a design flaw in the system.
Band-Aids are the opposite of type design. Try to solve the problem with a repaired, stronger system of letters that are team players.
It occasionally requires some advanced trickery to get bold fs into a compact form, but with patience, it’s always possible. And you’ll always be glad when you don’t have to build a bunch of stupid ligatures. ✌
Copy/paste from E, then lower the crossbar for F.
Ligatures aren’t always the answer.
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