Re: font consistency and corporate look

Subject: Re: font consistency and corporate look
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 22:38:44 -0500

This sort of decision is not uncommon, although it should be. Here are a couple that I've seen:

(1) All the printed books of a computer company were to have a uniform appearance. The company's name was to appear in humungofont, while the title of each book was to be in mouseprint. It was not possible to distinguish among the titles of books spread out in front of you by casual inspection. The colors, the artwork and the NAME OF THE COMPANY were identical. Each book's name on the spine was (for example) "NAME OF THE COMPANY Mumbletran Programmer's Manual". Only the NAME OF THE COMPANY stood out. And yes, they paid a "designer" for this nonsense.

(2) The top executives of another computer company directed that the manuals be printed on newsprint, presumably to save money. Unfortunately, the newsprint had a few problems:
- Few commercial printers were set up to produce perfect-bound books on newsprint. Saddle-stitch, comic-book style, might have been possible, but these books were too fat for that.
- Newsprint gives an impression of shoddiness.
- The requested format cost more per copy than ordinary perfect-bound books.

The proper way for combatting this sort of difficulty is to find a champion whose work you hate, someone who is not helping customers, co-workers or the bottom line, and whose very presence at the company should be ended. Enlist that person in furthering your task to get rid of the bad design. It's called "Let's You and He Fight."

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