Fonts Matter.

From Lileks.com:

This weekend my daughter had to get busy on her Neighborhood Guide, since it’s due Friday. Of course we’re behind. I hear from my wife that many parents are taking this very, very seriously, and taking the kid here and there to interview policemen, firemen, restaurant workers, et cetera, as per the Extra Credit. I suppose that’s a fine idea, and I’m all for parental involvement, but this is not a competition, and I suspect an excess of parental input will make the finished product look like something other than a third-grader’s work. I was not going to be that parent. I would, however, proof the copy, offer suggestions, rotate the photos, and other incidentals. First thing: the cover. I offered some font suggestions and let her design it as she pleased.

When I returned, I discovered she had set it in Hobo. I hate Hobo. Hobo says many things: the 70s; ersatz corporate groovy; default Windows fonts. It’s the font you see when someone does a flier for a party that may include a clown. I loathe Hobo

“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “It’s just a font.”

Teachable moment, as they say. I tried to explain why some fonts are apt and some don’t work. Fonts say things on their own.

Rolled eyes. “It’s just a FONT, Dad.”

No, it’s not just a font. It’s an instrument. Think of the words as notes, and the fonts as instruments. A melody sounds differently when you play it on a tuba or a flute, right?

“But they’re letters. They don’t make a sound.”

“No, but they speak to me anyway.”

Rolled eyes. “Fine.”

Other than that, it’s her project. Sorry, but no daughter of mine uses Hobo in a class project.

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