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Friday
Jun122009

The Secret Lives of Fonts

Fonts have interesting histories. For example, everyone knows that Garamond was invented by an albino, but what about the origins of other famous fonts?


Lucida Grande — The very act of inventing this horrific typeface in 1993 rendered its creator sterile.

Clarendon — Proud, squat, and strong, this 72-point font is so dumb, it often misspells itself.

Zapf Dingbats — This slutty font is named for its creator, Ms. Zapf Dingbat (the final “s” came only when her family emigrated from Bucharest to the U.S. in 1939), who became known for her lewd and promiscuous typeface designs throughout the 1960s — as well as her notorious parties, at which entire font collections would trade ascenders and descenders without protection.

Helvetica — Widely acknowledged as the font that incited Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland. Its typographer went into hiding in Argentina after World War II and is still wanted for a war-crimes tribunal.

Comic Sans MS — The “clown” of all scripts, it now suffers from actual MS. This makes it look like it’s always waving.

Readout — A favorite among socialists, this font was invented by a typefacist.

Baskerville — Looks in the bathroom monitor and thinks it’s hideous, which is true but still sad. Last time it was set up on a date, turned out it was a prank setup with Nimbus Sans L, who’s obviously way too handsome to care for a homely font like Baskerville.

Arial — After this font forcibly ghettoized all the seriffed typefaces within its borders, the serifs united in the forest to form their own font, today known as ITC Jew.

Copperplate — A font that rebelled at an early age, went through a few hashish-fueled years overseas, then came home and consummated the love that dared not handwrite its name — cursive. Their illegitimate child, Brush Script MT, now lives in a home for special letters who will always remain lowercase.

Sylfaen — The only font with a built-in lisp.

Caslon Antique — Old and crusty, this font gets annoyed if it sees a Trebuchet Bold holding hands with one of those lazy Italics.

Hoefler Text — Hs never been the sme since its leder, Rchduke Frnz Ferdinnd, ws ssssinted right through the “a,” bringing Europe to the brink of wr.

Century Gothic — The font that’s unable to feel unless it /es itself.

Times New Roman — Did a lot of kerning throughout its teens and twenties, leaving it occasionally drooping over the baseline. Nonetheless, it’s still got it.

Monotype Cursiva — Seemingly always hanging around outside the corner bodega, this font won’t stop grumbling about how there’s no evidence 6 million letters were deleted after being sent to special “libraries.”

Verdana — Fellas are always checking out this typeface twice on the subway, probably because of its generous “m”s.


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