Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are you there Fonts? It’s me, The Mayor

Hello, Typeheads! I certainly hope you’ve all been well since my last post 2 weeks ago. I sincerely apologize for my absence, but I’m afraid I came down with a terrible cold. I know that being a little ill has nothing to do with my ability to type, but being ill makes my tabloid television increase exponentially, which severely limits my ability to type. So there you have it.

If you recall, there was a comment left by reader Jack Gordon asking if I would discuss the Antiqua-Fraktur Dispute. I would love to say that I knew what that was, but sadly I had to research it. Of course I am notoriously lazy, so where else did I go but Wikipedia. Can you believe that they actually have quite an extensive page on this topic? It surprised me quite a bit; I assumed that Wikipedia’s more lengthy pages were reserved for Battlestar Gallactica Episode Lists and Jonas Brothers trivia (did you know he oldest one’s name is Kevin? I blindly assumed he didn’t have a name, but now I know).

So this is what I have gathered on the topic of the Antiqua-Fractur Dispute:- It was considered a Typographical Dispute. Apparently there is such a thing.

- The dispute was somewhat confined to 19th and 20th Century Germany, who at the time should have been spending less time arguing over type and more time watching out for disgruntled artists with silly moustaches. Hey-o! I’ll be here all week.

- From what I can tell, the main point that was argued in this dispute was that Fraktur was the more readable typeface. The article also states that Fractur was favoured by the Nazis. Then the Nazis thought it was “Jewish script” and they changed their tune; Antiqua now became the Nazis favourite. Then Hitler changed it back. I know, I know – nothing about the decisions made in early 20th Century Germany makes any sense.

- Did You Know?? Otto von Bismarck would refuse gifted German books that were printed in Antiqua typefaces. I, however, will never refuse a Bismarck (but that is because I love doughnuts).

In conclusion, I think the long and short of it is that the Antiqua-Fraktur Dispute is a case of Who Gives a Crap. Kidding! Typography disputes seem to really divide people. In my humble (and extremely un-educated) opinion, I don’t know which I prefer. While Antiqua reminds me of Grimm Brothers’ stories, it also seems sloppish to me (not a real word, but I’m keeping it). Meanwhile, Fraktur is fantastically German and reminds me of Beer, Chocolate, lederhosen, and dirndls (cute!). Sadly, it also reminds me of Nazis (erp…not cute).

So really, I need your help – which is better? Should there be a dispute over which is the ultimate German font? Is Antiqua the Comic Sans of the early 20th Century? Please let me know! Till next week, auf Wiedersehen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Are you there Fonts? It's me, The Mayor

It has been brought to my attention, via several aggressive letters and threatening phone calls, that I, The Mayor, know nothing about Typography. I will let you sit on that for a second.
Sadly, I must agree with you; I really couldn't typeset my way out of a paper bag. Now might be a good time to clear up that I was adopted into the Villatype family for my ability to make jokes, and not for my very thin knowledge of graphic design (surprise, right?)

So after a brief tutorial on typography, found type, graphic design, and letters (yes, I said letters. Did you know there are 26 now? Neat!) I have learned the following:

FACT! Graphic Designers like to keep a wardrobe of clothing in the following colours: black. This has lead me to believe that you have also at one point in time purchased the 2 gallon bottle of Woolite Dark.

FACT! Instead of Christmas, Hanukah, or Festivus, you celebrate the annual holiday of Typecon. The 5-day-long event includes workshops, classes, lectures, but no feats of strength. I hear that you also partake in the Airing of Grievances, but it usually happens on the 5th night after several glasses of wine.

FACT! If you saw Massimo Vignelli on the street and he was about to step in a puddle, you would lay down your coat for him to step on. Coats over puddles may not be your thing, so you can choose to react in a different way, but it would probably be just as chivalrous.

FACT! If you wrote letters to Santa, you might ask for a letter scarf or a kerning hoodie. I would ask for a Nintendo Wii, but that's just because mine got stolen when my apartment was broken into. Actually, I might ask for a padlock. Or an apartment in a better neighborhood.

FACT! spd.org is not an online resource for the illegal (and, natch, inexpensive) purchase of Methamphetamine.

FACT! David Carson does not play Horatio Caine on CSI: Miami.

FACT! You have your own little Type-ish Wikipedia. I browsed around it a bit and noticed one major difference between TypoWiki and Wikipedia: little to no information on The Jonas Brothers. Jesus, TypoWiki, catch up!!

So there you have it! I now know 400% more about graphic design and type than I did last week. I am no where near an expert (clearly) but I can easily identify that CMYK refers to colours, and not washing instructions. I know how impressive that must be to you all, but they are some big steps in remembering for me (I have the memory of a goldfish). But I want to get better! Please send all your helpful hints, interesting type info, and graphic design knowledge to mayor.villatype@gmail.com, and help me help you. Like, you help me with knowing more, and I help you with jokes. I know, it was a terrible joke - a Jerry Maguire quote long past its expiration date? What was I thinking? Anyways, see you next week!