The Nut List

Crimes of Typography

Signs of the Apocalypse


Rant! Rant! Rant!

Bad typography knows no bounds. It can be found throughout the web, in your newspaper, on your cereal box, and worst of all on the many signs that confront you wherever you go.


Learn to kern, web edition — The internet has brought us unlimited access to some really heinous typography, none more annoying than on the site for Architectural Digest. Of all places I would expect better from a magazine that deals with beauty. Here are two examples. If you can't spot the problem then we should probably unfriend each other.
       Here's the issue. Tracked out text with ligatures turned on. In laymen's terms that's adding space between the letters without turning ligatures off. A ligature is a character consisting of two or more joined letters. In this example it's the "tin" in lighting and "til" in tiles.

Learn to kern, packaging edition — flickering,
F L I C K E R I N G. Good lord, how did this ever get past quality control.

Give me a break! — I realize that most people woud never have a problem with this, but it's my personal pet peeve. In the headline below, also from Architectural Digest, look at the third line of the headline. Those two little words look so lonely down there by themselves.

Designers learn to turn (or break) lines where you would naturally pause when speaking. Plus we want the lines of a headline to be of a similar length. In this case I'd suggest

Leonardo DiCaprio Just Bought  
Moby's Los Feliz House—But He  
May Never Even Live in It  

Choose appropriate fonts — This note pretty much explaines itself. Just because a font is on your computer that doesn't make it ok to use. Accountants don't use script looking numbers, and wedding announcements don't use Helvetica.

calligraphy — noun, decorative cursive handwriting. ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from Greek kalligraphos, person who writes beautifully. That being said, one never writes cursive in all capital letters so one should never use all cap calligraphy on signage, no matter how rich and famous you are were.

calligraphy — part two. Lets revisit that origin again ...person who writes beautifuly. If your handwriting sucks to begin with, then don't use it on a four foot tall sign.

Just say NO to a kinder, gentler type used on stop signs at an upscale mall in St. Louis MO. Just because you're rich doesn't mean you need to be alerted to STOP any less.

Let's try an overlook that unfortunate photo that will scar that poor girl for life. No amount of therapy is gonna make up for a photo that makes her look like she's a float in the Special Olympics. But I digress. This website shows just what happens when you leave design up to editors, beginners, IDIOTS! I can't even begin to count the number of design and typographic sins committed here.

I'll overlook the lack of punctuation, or manners, but was it really too hard for you to center a 2-letter word properly?


Copyright © 2018 - Robert Brook Allen - A Boy And His Dog