Sunday, December 7, 2008

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

This week I take on God.
.
.
.
Well, the Godfather of Technical Typographical Terminology; your good friend and mine, Robert Bringhurst. Although I suppose I'm not really taking on Robbie B-R-double-j'zee; I'm going to take on his rather lengthy and exhaustive glossary of typographic terms. Ugh, I promise no more alliteration; it's just too much this early in the week.

Although I suppose you are curious as to why I have decided to write a whole post on a glossary of terms, terms you all know inside and out. Well, just as it's fun to ask someone whos never so much as looked at a pencil crayon to draw you a picture (or someone whos never held a drill to build you a deck) it's fun to listen to someone who knows nothing about typography to discuss terms with such little knowledge that it makes them sound like a bumbling idiot. The things I do for you people.

Now, in no particular order, here are a few of my favourites.

Aperture
I think it would have been better to name the openings in letters like C, S, and e the things which make the letters look like they have mouths (well, when you add little googly eyes to the top of the letters, anyways).

Bicameral

I like this word because it sounds like caramel. Bicaramel.

Crosshead

This is nothing like the 1980's board game.

Flush and Hung
This sounds a little ruder than it should. Kind of a combination of toilet humour and 90's Mark Wahlberg.

Gutter
Wow. You guys really like your insulting terms, don't you. Gutter. You couldn't just call it Spacie-space or Type'lers.

Kern
Oh, this word I know. I used to be a copywriter for an advertising agency and I had to Kern the hell out of my work. I'm no pro at it; I just did my job. Every time I say Kern, it reminds me of Kearney from The Simpsons.

Pica
What Pikachu says. Oh dear, that was punny. I'm sorry.

Slab Serif

Serifs are sort of like a family. Sans Serif is like the Mom, because she is tall and slim. Serif is like the Dad because...well...he has certain external extras on his body (if I ain't being too subtle). Slab Serif is like the spoiled son who eats too much McDonalds and is a little more than portly. Sort of like the fat children on Maury Povitch.

River
Do you ever look at a collection of rivers in a big piece of text and start to see pictures? Like Magic Eye? Is it just me? I think I may need to cut back on my permanent marker useage.

Thick Space / Thin Space
Depending on who you ask, this is the technical measurement between my skull and brain.

Widows and Orphans
Wow, again with the bleak terminology. Who looked at an errant word or a lonely line and thought "yeah...dead parents and/or spouse".

2 comments:

Jack Gordon said...

Mayor, if you weren't so geographically undesireable, I dare say I'd ask you on a date.

The Mayor said...

How kind of you, but sadly I'm like a clipper ship captain; I'm married to the sea.