Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Opinions Are Like Fonts

As was mentioned earlier, I've made a giant leap into that awkward territory called "college as an old lady."  It's been great fun and I'm learning and acquiring all sorts of things, including opinions.  I already have loads of opinions – maybe you know this already. Opinions are not in short supply around here and I dare say I might be jam packed without room for more.  But this is college, and college requires that you learn and grow opinions, so in the name of collegiate affiliation, fortification and supplication, I shall sacrifice and acquire more opinions.  For (dissing) the greater good of mankind.

The interesting thing about opinions is that as you acquire more and more, the heated ones have a tendency to float to the top. In this particular stage of my life, I have three fierce and fiery ones atop the froth of my opinion cocktail.  They are: gluten (love it!), computers (the only way to write!) and fonts (judge books and people by ‘em!)

See, you could quit reading now and get the gist.  But being as gluten, writing on computers and fonts are intense nail-biters, I have no doubt you'll continue.

My love for gluten (and it's spongey texture) has no relation to today's post, so I’ll move on to my preferred platform for sentence composition: the computer.  During an in-class writing exercise last semester, we were asked to write with multiple platforms. There were three options: computer (using the software of your choosing), paper (again using the hard and softwares of your choosing) and the smart phone.  We were all assigned to write using one of the aforementioned platforms. First, I was assigned the computer and did a happy dance as I snaked a sideways glance at those stuck on paper and phone. Just when I was about to get comfy, however, the professor pulled a fast one and switched us all to a new platform. I was sentenced to paper.

Paper! Oh the horror.

Nothing stumps me more than paper. I have this condition called acute paper-writing-induced-hand-ache. I don’t do the pen and paper thing much any more, which means the hands are out of shape. So when old-fashioned writing is required, I get the acute paper-writing-induced-hand-ache. And then there's the fact that writing by hand is slower than tar.  My thoughts are like water and evaporate quickly, so if I have to wait for my slow 'n clumsy hands to translate these thoughts? Poof! Nothing will materialize.  It’s important to note that while doing the paper method of writing, I did another happy dance because I wasn’t stuck on my phone. Because, well, the phone? It’s great for notes, but actual writing? Not sure. Perhaps I should try it before acquiring this opinion.

This writing platform exercise grew a new 'n intense opinion. I knew that I preferred the computer to other forms of creation, but I had no idea that it was the happy-dance type of preferred. Paper feels so permanent, and sloppy, and exposed. Computers, on the other hand, feel temporary, and adjustable and private.  (Because my passwords are rock-star solid!)

Now let’s move on to fonts. Fonts are everywhere. There are thousands, maybe even millions and my opinionated mind says 80% of those fonts are garbage. Perhaps there should be some sort of registration office for fonts so that we can keep track of them all. We could assign each a social security number and make them pay taxes.

Also during the semester, we were required to read excerpts from a book called Design Principles by Robin Williams (but not that Robin Williams).  This book has some basic how-to tips for designing documents and images so that the desired message is communicated effectively.  During this reading, I was reminded of my inflexible and rigid platitude for all things font. While Williams’ design segments were informative, easy to read and provided many ways for us non-designers to improve, there was this “font” thing about it; meaning she used that one font that I hate, that font called Comic Sans.

Nothing, aside from the chalkboard scratch, prickles my neck hair more than the Comic Sans. Not only should that font pay taxes, its existence is felonious. It should go to jail.

Needless to say, I didn't learn much from Williams' how-to for design tips because I was too plagued with disgust over her Comic Sans discourse.

I'm no design junky, so I'm rather awed by my font particularity.  Why do I care, exactly?  Not sure. I'm not alone though, because I've been around long enough to know most of you have opinions about fonts too, just like you all have...  you know.


Frank Sit said...

Very nice article! I’ll try to put in practice


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