I’m a font geek.Posted: March 6, 2012 Filed under: Fave raves | Tags: fonts, geekery 3 Comments
True, it’s unbelievably nerdy, but I’ve always been into them. Even as a kid I was aware of different styles of letters on packages or printed material (later I learned it was called “typography”). Tried to recreate them with pencil and paper. I RAWKED at graphic arts classes in high school, took calligraphy classes in college. My sister Mary shares this obsession: we sometimes find new fonts and send each other lists of sentences we’d cobble together that match them. (Yes, some phrases match some fonts. If you have to ask, you won’t understand.)
When I find a new font I’m stoked like when I would get a new 45 rpm record as a kid. Even now, for example, when I find a font that recreates a well-known icon, like the one of the Coca-Cola typography or Walt Disney’s “handwriting,” I’m jazzed up for the rest of the day. I don’t think I can vary fonts here on WordPress, but I can paste images of cool fonts that rock my world.
Bodoni is a serif font. Serifs are the little “tails” that extend out at various places on the letter, generally at a slight curve or “bracket.”
Clarendon is probably my favorite everyday “go-to” font. It’s called a slab-serif font, because the “tails” join on to the letters at pretty much a right angle.
Franklin Gothic is a sans-serif font; no tails.
Ademo is an engraved font, which as you’d expect has details that look like it was engraved by an artisan. Not all engraved fonts are this elaborate, though.
Old English is an antiqua or blackletter font, designed to resemble calligraphy. It’s famous for use in newspaper mastheads and Detroit Tigers uniforms.
Zaner-Bloser Manuscript is the font we all learned to write in grade one. Every classroom I ever saw had a chart of this along the front wall.
Helvetica is probably the most popular font in the world. It was designed specifically not to give an impression or have any inherent meaning, and as such was very popular in the late ’50s and early ’60s when many advertisers were seeking to remake their images. Most people encounter it at least a dozen times a day. It doesn’t show up on most computer word processors; instead they substitute Arial which is similar but not quite identical. Target Stores, for example, use Helvetica in their branding and signage.
Peignot is the font used for the credits on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Very ’70s.
Univers 39 Thin Ultra Condensed is the font you see at the bottom of every movie poster ever printed, just about.
That’s it for now. More cool fonts later.
I will confess to loving those little notes at the end of some books describing the font the book was printed in. For a time I was using Tempus sans for my emails in honor of my intenet friend Tempus Fugititve, an aid worker who disappeared in Afghanistan. WE had just been paired in a postcard exchange when he was lost. He was a paramedic so for a time it was hoped he’d maybe been taken hostage, but like as not he was just killed for no very good reason. I have tried my hand at designing fonts too, maybe someday…
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