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Tuesday 11 October 2011

Another Thing to Worry About

Apparently we are all being assessed, classified, approved or dismissed based upon - wait for it - the font we favour! I heard one chap describe fonts as modern handwriting. Heaven forbid, please tell me we are still teaching children to write with a pencil!
And now it seems that your choice of font leads to all manner of, sometimes rather unpleasant, conclusions being drawn about your mental health, cerebral capacity and sense of humour, or lack thereof. According to some, to use Comic Sans is to announce to the world at large that you are are unstable, humourless and unimaginative. Having worked in a school I can tell you it's an incredibly useful font, as it has none of the curlicues and squiggly nonsense of some of the more dramatic types. It's the only font that comes close to handwriting - useful when your target audience are all under the age of eight. And it's a cheery sort of fellow too. It might not be what I'd choose for a manuscript, or a begging letter to a publisher or agent, but it has its uses. Leave it alone!
As part of the discussion I was interested to hear that there are people out there whose job is designing fonts; they carry the rather grand title 'typographic engineer'. Rather than worrying about what font people are using, maybe they ought to be contemplating why it is they can never give anything a straightforward recognisable name! Font designing is a noble and useful enterprise, why do you need to dress it up with a convoluted, pompous name?
As for me, well I'll stick with Times New Roman, and you can draw whatever conclusion you like from that, as long as you don't tell me! NeoOffice did recently decide it was going to default to Calibri, which led to a good deal of rather inventive swearing each morning until I finally figured out how to change the preferences. Evidently even my computer has an opinion about my font choice!

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