Apparently it’s not just what smart technology you possess that says a lot about you, but also what fonts you choose to use that tell the world who you are.
According to BBC Entertainment and Arts News with over 200,000 fonts to chose from, our preferred choice is crucial in revealing personality traits.
While it may not yet be an acknowledged psychological tool, fonts are nonetheless important, even how you sign an email off.
Did you know?
In 2007 when the Helvetica font celebrated its 50th birthday, fan Lars Mueller published a book, Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface.
He wrote, ‘It has a modern attitude which lines up with the aesthetic premises of the 1950s and 60s. Helvetica is a corporate typeface, but on the other hand it’s the favourite of hairdressers and kebab shops. It is the butter on the bread.’
Many students responded to that story with various degrees of affection for different favourite fonts to liven up their academic work or pet hates. Fonts cause strong feelings, either way!
According to Katherine Brooks on Huffington Post the most hated font of them all is Comic Papyrus, ‘a Frankenstein font, a typographical disaster,’ Wow!
However, the BBC News Magazine asked in 2010 – What’s so wrong with Comic Sans? by stating. ‘that unassuming jaunty typeface lurking inside millions of computers, has become the target of an online hate campaign.’ Heavens!
When Avatar, ‘the biggest grossing movie of all time’ was released there was a report, again in the BBC Magazine by Tom de Castella which said that while typefaces to most people are ‘pretty insignificant’ they are to some people ‘the most important feature giving subliminal messages that can either entice or revolt readers.’
It was the one font from so many fonts that director James Cameron chose for his subtitles that caused so much anger in certain quarters of the font-caring community. ‘After the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on CG effects, did he just run out of money for a decent graphic designer?’
Put like that and knowing that graphic design hinges on the right typefaces, colours and images, there may be something in it.
Fonts made the news
Typeface blocks not seen or used since 1917 were discovered in the River Thames last year! Doves Type as it was known was thrown away nearly a century ago…
The Economist reported the story in full
On dark evenings in late 1916, a frail 76-year-old man could often be seen shuffling furtively between The Dove, a pub in west London, and the green and gold turrets of Hammersmith Bridge. Passers-by paid no attention, for there was nothing about Thomas Cobden-Sanderson’s nightly walks to suggest that he was undertaking a peculiar and criminal act of destruction.
Between August 1916 and January 1917 Cobden-Sanderson, a printer and bookbinder, dropped more than a tonne of metal printing type from the west side of the bridge. He made around 170 trips in all from his bindery beside the pub, a distance of about half a mile, and always after dusk. At the start he hurled whole pages of type into the river; later he threw it like bird seed from his pockets.
He did it because he was in a feud with his former partner at the Doves Press where the typeface was unique.
And to meet expected demand to own one of the more unusual fonts, there is a digital facsimile version of Doves available.
Did you see our blog from April 2014 about the use of human faces as fonts? Human Type Face Makes Change From Arial and Courier,
Image: Peter J. Acklam