Monday, November 3, 2008

Font madness

I love fonts. Well, most fonts. What I mean to say is that I have strong opinions about fonts. It probably comes from having redesigned my high school newspaper during the Stone Age (i.e. 1982) when, before desktop publishing when we had to send copy off to be typeset at a print shop, "redesign" meant "choose new typefaces for the headlines and subheads because that's all the control you can exert." So the world of fonts -- their countless numbers, their subtle signals and messages -- opened to me.

There are design rules about what fonts go with what other ones, appropriate point sizes, serif vs. sanserif, and when to us what weight of font. It's a bit of a science, making text a graphic element and player with its being unreadable or drawing too much attention to itself. But most good design comes down to gut instinct, I think. Eric and I even have a term -- font madness -- for times when folks have no font sense and load a web page or resume with too many of them or use ones that clearly don't jibe.

I saw this Flickr set, Typocalypse, linked via shelterrific, and immediately knew I'd found a kindred spirit.

A few favorites:

He's right about Garamond. It always seems a like a good call, until you actually use it.

Then there's this. Oh, how I hate this font:

And this. I think it's true:


Anonymous said...

A kindred spirit, indeed!

I love your love of fonts! And your hatred for the bad (and badly used) ones.

Unknown said...

How can you have a whole post about fonts without making fun of Comic Sans. I thought that was a law, or something.

Unknown said...

Please insert the question mark in the appropriate place.

Anonymous said...

There's a documentary on Netflix about Helvetica. You should add it to your queue. I haven't seen it yet (It's #85) but you should Netflix it. I mean, it's a movie about a font. How cool is that?

Nora :) said...

Everyone makes fun of Comic Sans. It felt too easy.

I will add that movie to my queue!

Unknown said...

Yeah, praising Helvetica and making fun of Comic Sans (or Ariel, I guess) are like two sides of the font coin. I kinda thought it was obligitory. ;)

I saw somewhere recently, there are two kinds of people. Those who can't tell the difference between Helvetica and Arial, and those who hate Arial.

Unknown said...

Oh, fun! Here's a game where you can use Helvetica letters to beat up Arial letters.