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Letters to the World


Arial, Schmarial

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 10:34 pm

I remember, when I got my first Windows machine, having tried to find the Helvetica clone in its font menu. There had to be one, right? I eventually stumbled across Arial, which was the closest thing I could manage to find– yet to my typographically nitpicky eye, it wasn’t close enough. The lowercase a, r and t, the capital G and R, and the number 1— they were all noticeably off somehow. And it annoyed me. Yes, I’m easily annoyed, I know.

It turns out that typographer Mark Simonson agrees with me on this subject; check out his quite interesting article "The Scourge of Arial".

What’s really annoying is that about half the signs on the Mercer University campus are in Helvetica (the older ones) and half of them are in Arial (the new ones). Grr. Am I the only one around here who notices such things?

And incidentally, for more typographical quibbles, check out Simonson’s article "Typecasting" on the anachronistic use of fonts in movies.

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