It’s only recently that I’ve become aware that people get very agitated about fonts. This surprises me. It’s not that I can’t imagine people getting worked up about seemingly trivial aspects of day-to-day life; heck, I’ve experienced Nerd Rage in the past (mainly to do with what DC Comics did to the JLI). That said, I never thought people would become furious over something as simple as typeface. I get why people might be passionate about the subject – it’s got a long history dating back to the birth of printing, and creatives have a right to get excited about graphic design. But font rage?
The most visible example of this is the fury aimed at Comic Sans, which seems to be a bit over the top. I can see why people wouldn’t want it on their gravestones, but it’s fairly inoffensive, surely? Or maybe I’m artistically illiterate, which is entirely possible. After all, when Ikea changed its official typeface from Futura to Verdana, it caused outrage among people who can tell the difference. Verdanagate, they called it.
And then there are anachronistoc fonts in films, a whole sub-section of movie mistakes that can spoil the filmgoing experience for people with an eye for that sort of thing.
But here’s the thing – getting excited and passionate and angry and enthused by something that is (to me, at least) commonplace and invisible is a very human thing to do. I suspect all the font enthusiasts out there think me being able to quote in-jokes from Doctor Who Magazine is sad, but it’s all part of the same thing. It’s good to be a fan of something; to my mind at least that’s way better than postmodern irony or carefully cultivated ‘cool’. Geeking out is far more fun…