September 29, 2006
Down with Comic Sans MS!
. . . and Times New Roman, too, for that matter (via LifeHack). Apparently (and thankfully) it's no longer true that "No one would ever look at a paper or article or memo and say, 'Ew, why’d you choose Times New Roman?'”
Before & After has a nice PDF on choosing type. They don't specifically take on Comic Sans MS; maybe they feel it would be piling on. Personally, I don't think one can overdo trashing Comic Sans; it is an ugly, anti-reader typeface that the CIA is probably using as a torture device.
I don't have Calibri yet, though I'm looking forward to a new default font for Word. Anything but Times New Roman! I'm still using it in most of my print-based stuff because I don't have a serif font on my hard drive that really pleases me (whereas Gill Sans and Trebuchet MS keep me very happy indeed). Georgia is okay but not quite clean enough for my taste. Of the serif fonts I have, I like Baskerville and Calisto MT best, but I'm not confident that they're on other people's machines (am I wrong about that?), so I don't tend to use them for texts that I'm transmitting electronically.
But when I'm writing for myself—things that I won't be printing out and sharing with others? It's Baskerville, Gill Sans, and Trebuchet MS. They do just fine, thankyouverymuch.
Now all I have to do is get all my Web pages coded for a sans serif. It drives me crazy that they all default to—um, I think it's Times New Roman. I have tastes, many tastes, but not the expertise to carry them out.
Posted by senioritis at September 29, 2006 06:06 AM
There's a reason Georgia doesn't look clean enough: it was designed as a screen font. It's not meant for print. Which is why it looks good to the lifeclever author on PDFs, but not elsewhere.
I, too, like Gill Sans, but when I was sending out my materials last year, I opted for Times New Roman because of what I imagined as the austerity factor: search committees, I thought, want bare-bones plain-ness. So I just did my best to use white space well, and steered clear of what I thought might be seen as font-choice preciousness.
I'm changing that approach the next time I send stuff out. It's gonna be either Gill Sans or some classic serif like Caslon or (dare I say it?) Bodoni Narrow. (I'd argue that Garamond, for all its elegance and in all its variations, had become trite precisely because it's so gorgeous and overused.)
Posted by: Mike at September 29, 2006 08:40 PM
It's hilarious that you say that. I walked into a meeting this afternoon, for which members had been provided a document by Person A, who hadn't yet arrived at the meeting. With visions of typefaces still dancing in my head, I looked at the document and said, "What font is this?" And Person B (who, it turns out, had already read this blog entry), told me it was Garamond 11. "Hmm, Garamond," sez I. "Pretty nice." And then we debated whether Garamond is a "true" type.
Me: How do you know whether a type is true?
B: I work on a PC, and it has a little icon that tells me. I don't know how a Mac user would know.
Well, that, of course, sets me on yet another crusade: to find out (a) what the true types are, and (b) to find out how Mac users can tell.
And your comment, of course, inspires my typesnobbery (which is, incidentally, entirely derivative. I'm claiming that I have taste, but in fact most of my alleged "taste" comes from slavishly adhering to whatever pronouncements are being made by the designers I'm reading. And by the People Whose Judgment I Respect and Who Comment on My Blog. Garamond? Wouldn't touch the stuff!
Posted by: senioritis at September 29, 2006 09:18 PM