Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:10 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces You probably missed this earth-shattering news, but Ikea IKEA, the Swedish furniture and other assorted home decoration products company, has switched fonts. The company always used the Futura font for its catalogues, but the latest edition has ditched it in favour of Verdana. This has caused quite the stir among typography geeks.
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RE[2]: Fonts
by google_ninja on Fri 4th Sep 2009 02:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Fonts"
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

Fonts have been a business sector long before computers became the primary tool for designers. In fact, many people consider the shift to computers to be the downfall of typography, because of how simple it is to bang out a font, most foundries nowadays are just sweatshops going for quantity rather then quality.

Win 3.1 shipped with arial (it is now the de-facto sans font) which was actually just a re branded sonoran sans, which was one of the second generation IBM fonts. Your story probably has more to do with familiarity with the font rendering engine on windows more then the actual type.

The weird thing about typography is that the people who are into it are REALLY into it, and the rest of the world just thinks we are a bunch of lunatics for caring so much about how letters are shaped.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Fonts
by sbergman27 on Fri 4th Sep 2009 02:15 in reply to "RE[2]: Fonts"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

and the rest of the world just thinks we are a bunch of lunatics for caring so much about how letters are shaped.

You can pretty well count me to be in that group... except when the letters are shaped so badly that I just can't believe that the designer was not drunk, or stoned, or perhaps even Michael Jackson.

Why are fonts so hard? Why can't they just... you know... look right?

I hear all these scary sounding terms, like "kerning" and "hinting". I hear about how "hard" font design is. And I wonder why we can't just solve this problem and move on.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Fonts
by mintar on Fri 4th Sep 2009 10:07 in reply to "RE[3]: Fonts"
mintar Member since:
2008-09-26

Why are fonts so hard? Why can't they just... you know... look right?

I hear all these scary sounding terms, like "kerning" and "hinting". I hear about how "hard" font design is. And I wonder why we can't just solve this problem and move on.


Why do car makers keep changing the design of their cars? Why can't they just solve this problem and move on?

I think fonts and cars are about aesthetics as well as usability, and so there is no "problem" that has a unique "solution".

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Fonts
by google_ninja on Fri 4th Sep 2009 12:01 in reply to "RE[3]: Fonts"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

It is sort of like "Why do people keep doing paintings? Why can't they just paint something properly, and have everyone hang that on their walls?". At this point, the problem is solved "enough" where there are loads of fonts that are great for pretty much any situation. What is left is a matter of taste and expression.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Fonts
by sbergman27 on Fri 4th Sep 2009 18:24 in reply to "RE[2]: Fonts"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I guess it depends upon whether one considers fonts to be functional and utilitarian or works of art. Except for special purpose fonts like Zapf Chancery, I tend to think of them as purely functional. Give me one good sans font, and a good and simple mono font, and I'm happy. When I check out the fonts in, say, Firefox, I'm always amazed that out of a zillion fonts, a zillion minus one seem completely unusable, leaving exactly one that's pretty good.

Reply Parent Score: 2