Friday, April 18, 2008

Just My Type

Typeface. For me, it's one of those nit-picky things. Years ago -- egad, it must have been during the Carter administration -- I was trained as a legal proofreader. We corrected copy that had been set by Linotype. Sometimes the font was very very small, otherwise known as "reading the fine print." Often, in addition to catching spelling and grammar errors, we had to send the page back to the printers to be re-set if the lead type-slug was out of line (or sometimes even upside down). Ah, the old-fashioned days before computer-generated printing. I spent two squinting years relentlessly red-penciling wayward type.

So, my urge to straighten out lines of type is strong -- beyond my control, actually.

And now, every day as I spend hours typing at my Yahoo screen, I see this:
Do you see it? Where it says Copyright/IP Policy? It's just an optical illusion, of course. The type is all in a level line. But it nags at me from the bottom of my screen all day, looking to me as if it's a wavy line of type, begging to get smoothed into place.

Reminds me of one of my favorite m├ętro stations.


La Belette Rouge said...

Have you seen the film Helvetica yet? I contemplated renting it yesterday and now that I have read your blog post I feel like I must see it.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Ooh -- Helvetica? Sounds just like my *type* of movie. Thanks, Belette!

La Belette Rouge said...

LOL! "Just your "type" Can always count on you to be a "font" of humour. Okay, the puns will stop there. Hope you have a lovely weekend. :-)

Becky said...

The person who put up that sign in the Metro station must have been drunk (ivre)?

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Hi Becky,

I think the sing was done that way on purpose. I always thought that it was meant to look happy, since 'bonne nouvelle' means 'good news.' But it turns out that it's somewhat modeled after the famous Hollywood sign. Maybe because there are some big art deco movie theatres in the neighborhood. But thanks for the comment, because now I'm researching it.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Becky: *sign*


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