Tag Archives: design

Comic Sans isn’t evil, maybe

Pax Arcana

Comic Sans is at once the most overused and despised font in the, um, fontosphere. Originally developed to mimic comic book lettering, Comic Sans has become the go-to typeface for the typographically tone deaf for more than a decade.

bancomicsansThere are even groups dedicated to eradicating Comic Sans from usage.

But according to the Wall Street Journal, the anti-Comic Sans movement may be just as ignorant as the ruddy-faced secretaries and HR reps who use the font for every memo and letter they write. Vincent Connare, creator of Comic Sans, says he’s not to blame:

“If you love it, you don’t know much about typography,” Mr. Connare says. But, he adds, “if you hate it, you really don’t know much about typography, either, and you should get another hobby.”

A quick check with the bold-faced and italic Mrs. Pax Arcana confirms this notion. The problem is not with the font itself — but with the rampant and widespread misapplication of it. Blaming the font itself is like blaming beer and the Pope for spread of the Irish population. Okay maybe that’s a bad example.

Anyway, it’s not Connare’s fault:

Mr. Connare, 48 years old, now works at Dalton Maag, a typography studio in London, and finds his favorite creation — a sophisticated typeface called Magpie — eclipsed by Comic Sans. He cringes at the most improbable manifestations of his Frankenstein’s monster font and rarely uses it himself, but he says he tries to be polite when he meets people excited to be in the presence of the creator. Googling himself, he once found a Black Sabbath band fan site that used Comic Sans. The site’s creators even credited him. “You can’t regulate bad taste,” he says.

You can if Congress passes any of the bills I sent to them anonymously over the past 15 years.

Typeface Inspired by Comic Books Has Become a Font of Ill Will [WSJ]



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The man who made things awesome

Pax Arcana

Have you ever seen this before?


OK, how about this one?


OK fine, but have you ever seen one of these before?


If you recognize these branding icons and dozens of others, then you’re already familiar with the life’s work of Raymond Loewy, French expatriate and creator of many of the world’s most influential industrial designs.

Wired celebrated Loewy’s 115th birthday yesterday with a short reflection on Loewy’s influence over fields ranging from soft drinks to space travel:

Loewy’s classic designs include the Coca-Cola bottle, the sleek-sided 1929 Gestetner duplicating machine, the Pennsylvania Railroad’s streamlined S-1 Locomotive, the World War II Lucky Strike cigarette package, the 1954 Greyhound Bus, JFK’s Air Force One, and corporate logos for Exxon, Shell and dozens of other firms.

But wait, there is more: the 1947 line of Hallicrafter radio receivers that influenced home sound-system design through the 1970s, Studebaker’s 1947 Starlight coupe, 1953 Starliner coupe and 1961 Avanti — the only auto exhibited in the Louvre — and the interiors of the Concorde and NASA’s Sky Lab and Space Shuttle.

His client list is also astonishing: Revlon, Faberge, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Hanes, Levis, Butterick, Bulova, Omega, Mont Blanc, Seth Thomas, Rosenthal, Frigidaire, Formica, Koehler, IBM, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Studebaker, BMW, Jaguar and even the government of the Soviet Union.

Basically he’s the reason your grandparents’ old refrigerator seems so elegant, even as it drips rusty water all over the garage.

Nov. 5, 1893: A Design Star Is Born [Wired]

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