Archives For Fonts

Uninhibited Fonts

December 19, 2011 — 2 Comments

Tonight as we prepared to begin our monthly Christian Writers meeting, our leader mentioned one of his favorite subjects for scribbling. As an unreformed doodler myself, the conversation immediately seized my wandering attention.

He said something to the effect that he “likes to see how complex or ornate he can draw letters while still maintaining their legibility.” It reminded me of some of the flowery medieval versions of fonts where it is determining precisely what a given letter is, becomes a mystery. (I made the challenge simple above, by bracketing the “I” and “J” with adjacent letters . . . but without the “H” and “K” their identities may have been quite difficult to ascertain.)

The image to the left comes from a witty strip called “Incidental Comics.” It is penned by Grant Snider, whose cartoons are quite often as entertaining as they are absurd. In this small element from his broader treatment entitled “Design Like Nobody’s Watching,” he expands on the two styles traditionally identified for letter forms.

I’ve written earlier about font lovers, who will especially enjoy the humor here. But all word lovers can appreciate the importance of the letter styles which clothe the words we read and write.

It’s good to be reminded. The fonts we use truly do make a difference.

A Font for All Seasons

December 1, 2011 — 2 Comments

There are a variety of ailments that disproportionately affect writers. Mundane disorders such as Repetitive Stress Injury, Computer Eyestrain and assorted carbuncles arise as no surprise. But there is another, psychological malady that can cripple an author’s creativity and savage his time schedule.

A fascination with fonts is a logical curiosity among people who love words. You can find stylized fonts reflecting for almost any special interest. In fact, just four months ago the total number of fonts surpassed the population of the planet. An affection for different fonts is one thing . . . but an obsession is quite another. Addicts are commonly referred to as “fontaholics.”

There truly are fonts for all seasons . . . too many versions to number. As an example of a unique font, you can check out Narnia BLL.

This lovely lettering is inspired by the recent films about the land of C.S. Lewis’ anointed Chronicles.

And It’s Not Just about Aesthetics

Recently a Dutch scholar devised a nefont specifically for people suffering from dyslexia.

Their approach, based on “weighting” the various letters and symbols, has been shown to improve readability for dyslexics. (Truth is, it would probably make reading easier for anyone.) Some see this new font as reinforcing prior studies which show serif fonts to be more legible than sans serif versions.

Whether you consider yourself immune to the lure of fonts, or are a self-confessed fontaholic, it’s a field about which every writer should understand the basics.