Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Lithos vs. Papyrus

Hello. My name is Jan and I’m a font snob.

Last night, while designing this year’s Christmas card:

Sinead: Is that the Egyptian font?
Me: Papyrus?
Sinead: Yeah, that one.
Me: Hell no. This is Lithos.
Sinead: Just making sure.

Closer to the point, I have this violent reaction against Papyrus (no offense to Chris Costello, who obviously hit a home run with it). I used to think it gorgeous, but now I’m just sick of it … mostly because it is too distinctive to be used as often as it is. Its the first thing that any amateur designer tries now that it’s a default font on both Windows and Mac, yet it still managed to sneak into several respectable corporate logos and (gasp) the best sci-fi movie of the year. But now Sinead is tired of me pointing it out everwhere we go, like, every street we walk down, or town we drive through, or every nice restaurant that uses it on a menu. Earlier yesterday I was making fun of the photographer we’re hiring for our wedding for using it on his brochure. I’ll spare you the full brunt of my rant, but I’ve found many kindred spirits on the web.

Later last night, I think I amazed Sinead.

Me: In three years I fully expect everyone in the world to be using Lithos, and I fully expect to be sick of it. I mean, Copperplate was cool in ‘96, and I used it on the first Dekana website, but by 2000 I was listening to Ian moan about how he hated it because it was overused. I mean, really. It was 2000 when I used Papyrus on my Christmas letter! Now it’s just … just …

Sinead: [breaking her shit laughing] OH MY GOD. Mainstream? I had friends in secondary who were like that about bands, and you’re like that about fonts! “I like their early stuff. Before they sold out …” Do you like Goth fonts?

Ah, yes, my other half, my conscience. I suppose I am just the little junior high schooler trying to be hip and cutting edge. Well, anyway, for now, I’ll stick to Lithos. It’s, like, totally rad.

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