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.


Jack Gordon said...

Thanks Mayor. Personally, I think Antiqua would just look silly on a Jägermeister bottle, but then again I'm a drunk so I'd drink it anyway. FWIW, I've been told that Fraktur was the last font to use the long "s" (eses?). Good riddance, I say.

elle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elle said...

Oh shoot, i didn't mean to delete.

Anyway... i had basically said i cannot stand Comic Sans. Loathe it. Even more now that i'm surrounded by it at work- an elementary school. Justifiable? Who knows. Still unacceptable.

And seeing as how this is the first i hear of this debate, i haven't fully formed an opinion on it. Fraktur's pretty cool, but i'm not sure it would fly in everyday use.

The Mayor said...

Trust. Next week I will most likely have a post about my thoughts on Comic Sans (aka The Most Stunningest Typeface in the world)

elle said...

As long as it's not typed in Comic Sans, i look forward to it.