Tuesday, September 8, 2009

An existential crisis.

A couple of years ago, my friend Lido went on date with a graphic designer. A photographer and all-around Fabulous Renaissance Man, Lido asked her a question: "What's your favorite font?"

I love this question. (And, incidentally, I love Lido for asking it. Also, I love the girl he's currently dating who I'm sure has a much better font preference than this other girl ever did!) I think people who can answer the font question right away are my people. They're artsy, but care about presentation. They see themselves in their work. They love text and words and conveying messages. They know a font is more than a font. It's about what giving the world a little tiny glimpse of you.

I used to say my favorite font was Garamond, because it perfectly conveyed who I was. Classic and sophisticated, with just enough flair to show that it was anything but average.

I used to say this.

These days, I don't have a font any more. There's probably a ton of fodder for someone who bills at $120/hr about why that might be. But I don't think Garamond works for me these days, at least as a description of the person I am today.

I think it's boring. Dowdy. Too average. Too bland. And a serif font? Ugh. Gag. Of course, that shouldn't be interpreted to mean that I think I'm un-boring, un-dowdy, un-average, or un-bland. I don't really know what I am. Back then, I was always wearing pearls and downing Chardonnay. These days, I'm more likely to be found in yoga pants than pearls. There's other changes too, changes I probably don't need to _ and probably shouldn't _ get into here. But suffice it to say, the older I get the more I realize that I'm a work in perpetual progress.

But what matters is that I'm stuck with this existential typographical crisis, which probably has a lot more to do with myself and my place in the world than what my words look like when I'm banging away on the computer.

I've been killing time on DaFont, a great collection of something close to 10,000 different fonts. Of course, I'm not tech literate enough to figure out how to import these fonts into Word. (I think that maybe they're more for Illustrator/Photoshop type things.)

So, I'm stuck. I feel like one day it will hit me. I'll get out of the fog and I'll find my font. It will fit me again and I'll feel like we belong. And then I'll feel better about the person I am today, instead of the person that I was. Am I crazy? I mean, more than usual.

So tell me, peeps, do you have a favorite font? And most importantly, why did you pick it? And what do you think it says about you?


the Dark Daisy said...

Mine might be totally boring...but I've always been a fan of Arial.

I don't like many serif fonts.

Also maybe equally boring and obvious is the Times New Roman..

I like fonts that feel classic and don't draw attention away from the actual words. I like fonts that are clean and unassuming. It's kind of different than I picture my personality...but I just don't want anything to draw attention away from the words — nothing too flowery or flashy.

Anyway...I probably should think about it more because I found Arial and Times New Roman and that was it for me...but WHAT a wonderful question!?! I love you and Lido for asking it...!

Juliette said...

I used to love

Bauhaus 93 and Palatino

I think that I prefer

Calibri Bold and Trebuchet MS. Of course this took the fonts of the words.

Noodles said...

Hey Daisy-- EXCELLENT points about fonts that feel classic and don't draw attention away from the actual words. As well as clean and unassuming.

Jules -- Calibri Bold. Yum.

jessica lowry said...

When I'm working on projects I rarely use serif fonts....but I think my favorite font is Modern # 20. It makes everything look retro is a cute/classy way. Love it. Also -- thanks for the shout out on your blog!

Lido Vizzutti said...

You have a mind like a steel trap madam... Because of historical significance, I like Helvetica. And if you have not seen the documentary, check it out.(It's much fun to watch modernist and post modern designers argue the merits of font as a way of expression.)

KateKwiltz said...

Arial Narrow. Good, clean lines, but not bulky. And that Helvetica documentary is very cool...if you're a font geek like me.

Ms. H said...

For powerpoints for my classes, I like DigitalStrip and segoe print.