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Subject:RE: Good font combination story From:"Ed" <hamonwry12 -at- hotmail -dot- com> To:"'McLauchlan, Kevin'" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Wed, 19 May 2010 10:49:33 -0400
I don't claim to be an expert on typography, but I am a huge fan and try to
pay attention to it. Secretly, I really want to be a graphic designer. I
think that fonts definitely have their own personality.
Helvetica and Arial will be hard to discern differences, as Arial is
basically Microsoft's version of Helvetica. However, you can see differences
between Arial and Verdana, I'd call Arial a bit 'friendlier'; Verdana is
Things to look for: individual characters. How does the letter y terminate
at the bottom (descender)? Does the letter a have the ascender or not? Are
they tall and skinny, or wide and narrow? Are the characters mono-spaced,
such as Courier and other typewriter-style fonts? Are the serifs short or
If fonts didn't have different usages, there wouldn't be so many of them.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: McLauchlan, Kevin [mailto:Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:58 AM
> To: Ed; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: Good font combination story
> Ed sed:
> > Since this has come up recently:
> > Four techniques for combining fonts
> > http://www.typography.com/email/2010_03/index_tw.htm
> Hmm. Doesn't a "technique" presuppose the ability to
> actually discern one from another?
> I don't have it.
> Reading the descriptions after each example, I was
> reminded of the pretentious claptrap (much parodied)
> that used to pass for wine reviews in many places.
> "Insouciant at the start, with a droll finish..."
> I could sorta see "solid" as an attribute of a
> given font family. Perhaps "light"... perhaps even
> "crisp"... but .... "Lyrical" ... come ON!
> "Debonair"? Get real! A font?
> Perhaps somebody who does nothing else all day for
> years must develop a sensitivity that allows them
> to pick out the attributes. Probably that person
> also needs the same in-built sensibility that makes
> for a good graphic designer.
> As not either one of those, I can't reliably tell
> Helvetica from Arial from Verdana... in bright light...
> with the wind at my back... down-hill...
> I'm curious, though, how many people actually
> can spot a given font in a crowd. Especially a
> crowd of what the unwashed would regard as similar
> Of course, in the spirit of "I might not know much
> about art, but I know what I like", good typography
> seems to just hang together in a pleasing way. It's
> the 'what' of that pleasingness that escapes me in
> individual situations. Yes, of course you could
> point to an example and explain it to me... and
> there's a chance that you would not sound entirely
> like Charlie Brown's teacher while doing so. :-)
> Am I alone?
> - K
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