I took a bibliography course as part of my undergraduate English degree, and through the misty fog of ages, I remember a section on the history of printing, which included a visit to St Bride Print Library. It left me with a general (albeit fairly shallow) interest in type and typefaces. Yes, folks, I’m a font geek.
(It’s funny because it’s true. All except the Hitler part. I think. Saying that, of course, there was a huge typeface-related dispute in Nazi-era Germany, revolving around the Antiqua & Fraktur types and resulting in the ban of Fraktur for being “Jewish”.)
I love the idea that it’s not just what you say, but what you use to say it: how some fonts are plain ugly and some are deeply inappropriate. Type is just type–you use it to put words together, and they’re the things that count, aren’t they? Who’d have thought letters could be so important in their own right?
There’s a new book out on the subject, which will be going on my Christmas list–thanks for asking–Simon Garfield’s Just My Type. If you’re not convinced by the idea of fontgeeking, Garfield wrote an excellent piece on it in last weekend’s Observer by way of a taster for his book.
So when I found a site which helps you determine which particular typeface you are, you can imagine how I reacted. Exactly. And I came out Archer Hairline: clear but with touches of elegance (snort); flashes of emotion in an otherwise composed face. In short: emotional, understated, progressive & disciplined.
Groovy. Because at least I’m not Papyrus….