RE: Fonts?

Subject: RE: Fonts?
From: "Wright, Lynne" <lwright -at- positron911 -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 14:54:28 -0400

ouch! Yeah, Dick, i noticed you were off-list with your comment, but then
Bruce chimed in, so EVEN THOUGH i was thinking "i'm just going to open this
can of worms wider" I went and responded on-list. And now the can is well
open, and worms are getting everywhere, so if a flock of robins shows up,
i'm going to get mightily pecked.

By 'obsessive tweaking' i was referring to things like having punctuation
hang outside of the right margin; setting specific kerning values for
certain letter pairs, etc... more high-end, fussy pants stuff that only
typonerds care about.

And re: "eternal" I implore you, kind sirs, to give me a small break, and
not draw me into these arguments, such that i become woefully unproductive!

Let my just say this: Times New Roman was designed to evoke roman lettering
(ie. the kind carved into stone buildings), so it is certainly one font
whose roots reach back ...uh... a long, long time... hence the disputably
liberal use of the term "eternal".

So it has stood the test of time better than, say, these old-style computer
lettering fonts that all these hip techno clubs and cafes use. Ok, that's a
bad example, because no one in their right mind would use anything that
stylized for a document, because they are largely unreadable as well as
ugly... but you get my point? Times, Helvetica and Futura are like bad
karma... they just keep comin' round, decade after decade.

So by now, the original poster has probably tuned out in sheer horror, so
shall we agree to disagree and leave it at that?

-----Original Message-----
From: Dick Margulis
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2004 2:34 PM
To: Wright, Lynne; TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Fonts?

Did you miss the "[off-list]" part, Lynn? ;-)

Continuing on-list, as the cat is out of the bag on this conversation, ...

Wright, Lynne wrote:

> However, you can obsess about fonts and tweak your typography ad
> but only another anally-obsessive typomaniac is likely to notice most of
> subtleties.

In publication design, the font's being noticed is generally seen as a
sign of failure. The goal is not being noticed but being effective, as
I'm sure you well understand; and those tweaks and subtleties contribute
toward the goal. Of course the point is to set up the design templates
so that the tweaking is entirely transparent to the writer. We don't
want to burden the tech writer's brain with composition issues.

> The other good thing about sticking with the standardsis that they are
> and more or less eternal... you don't run the risk of looking out of date
> using the currently-trendy font that may make your design look passe.

That's absurd. What was safe and more or less eternal in 1880 or 1920 or
1950 or 1980 looks dated today; and there is no reason to suspect that
what is safe and more or less eternal won't look dated ten years from now.



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