Weekend Word Wrap: word fonts


My wife forwarded me a link recently about a new film called Helvetica, which, as you might have guessed, is all about the well-known font—a font, it turns out, that is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. For a word-freak like me, this certainly sounds like a MUST-SEE documentary, one I might even buy on DVD later. It got me thinking about good old Helvetica, and how it's always been one of my favs. Others include Palatino and Gill Sans and even the original Courier (the new one is just a little too, I don't know, ersatz for my taste. Kinda like the difference between a nice kosher frankfurter and NotDogs.)

It also got me wondering what other peoples' favorite fonts are. Who among you really uses those crazy, curly affronts MS WORD serves up in the fonts dropdown menu? Monotype Corsiva? Kristen ITC? Ravie? I mean honestly. If you've got a favorite and want to tell us why, don't be shy"¦ it's the interactive part of the Wrap, folks.

Meanwhile, after the jump, read a little send-up on the "About this Font" page you often find at the back of books. I always find them not only educational but often hilarious. So I wrote this satire and published in the back of my novel, Behind Everyman.


This book was set in a digital version of Monotype Cution. The original typeface was created by Ella Cution (1845-1910). Before becoming a punch cutter with her own chain of type foundries in cities as diverse as Constantinople and Istanbul, she was apprenticed to a midwife where she is said to have spent the better part of her days waiting for the invention of the disposable diaper.

It was there, working in midwifery, that Cution invented her first typeface: C Section. The following month, with borrowed money from her father, she opened her first type foundry. Despite ongoing problems from various labor factions (Active and Transition labor lobbied for shorter hours, while Induced labor fought for higher wages) she opened a dozen more within five years.

Sadly, after Ella Cution's passing, her franchise of type foundries was taken over by her daughter, Elektra Cution, and quickly flipped for the more lucrative Blimpie's chain, popular with many lunch and dinner patrons on the go.