Saturday, June 7, 2008

What is the point of italic in a sans?

If Swissmiss married Kiss she'd be Mrs. Demon Starchild Spaceman Catman Stanley Simmons Freshley Criss Swiss-Miss or she could change her name to a single word: Hellvetica. Reminds you of Dagmar, doesn't it?

"The meaning is in the content of the text and not in the typeface." Sayeth the director of the film Helvetica, but I can't imagine reading Willa Cather in sans serif. The default font for the new, awful Microsoft Office Word 2007 is Calibri, a sans. You mean I'm supposed to type a business letter or a resume in a sans? Maybe if applying for a job at the Bauhaus.

I'm becoming very bitter. As mentioned in the previous blog typography is a way of expressing anger. Jan Tschichold used to turn red during class when mentioning the em-dash and I would cower under my desk.

Tschichold was the son a sign painter and trained in calligraphy. That art is the basis of typography least for serif fonts. Especially italic. What is the point of italic in a sans? Two lowercase els in a sans look like my skis when I'm manoeuvring around a tree in St. Moritz. The first postwar Olympics were held in that shining city, but my father Didrik was no competition against his fellow Norwegian Birger Ruud.

By the way, kids, if you want to have fun with type, type an Italic Garamond Ampersand.


LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I remember back in the mid-1990s when I caught Lucida Sans a couple times at Trannyshack and bought into the whole "she's the sans you could take home to mom, and no one would be the wiser". We really thought the dream of the 1970s had been reborn, but the second after she got off the Green Tortoise bus in Seattle, she headed straight over to the East Side and sold her soul to Microsoft. I'll never be mislead by a sans serif again.

Oh, and why does no one ever talk about Em-dash's much more graceful and talented sister En-dash? She's grossly under valued.

Salty Miss Jill said...

I think I've found my next knitting project. In chartreuse, yet!