Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Font Wars


When IKEA changed the font it used last year - when it replaced its old faithful Futura with the more modern Verdana - the company found itself embroiled in a “font war”. Not only were customers vexed about this unwanted attempt to “refresh the brand”, but there was also much rudeness on websites dedicated to graphic design. Wikipedia soon had a page called “Verdanagate”. People, it seems, had discovered they cared about something they had never knowingly cared about before.


When I read this piece over the weekend, I acknowledged that I like some fonts and hated others. Don't care for Courier, as it happens, and like Times New Roman though I am coming around to Bookman Old Style. Close on the heels of that thought, came another: if fonts mean so much to people, what happens if we send in a submission to an agent or publisher, and it is in a font the receiver loathes? Does the submission go straight in the bin? It may well be true, and it's a frightening thought.

4 comments:

Anita Davison said...

I like Bookman too, it's softer and easier to read. However I try not to 'play' with fonts as I know some publishers have a real downer on anything other than TNR! Prejudice arise from the strangest things.....

Jen Black said...

It is amazing how much it affects decisions. Sometimes I get e-mails in fonts I dislike, and I'm surprised at how much I dislike them!

Write Words / Arline Chase said...

Jen, I need you to contact me with your e-mail address. The computer gurus lost my addressbook.

Also as a publisher I'd like to explain that publication software does convert some special font characters to strange-looking gibberish without warning. Hence our fondness for TNR.

Jen Black said...

Bookman has joined TNR as one of my favourites.
Arline, I've sent a post to you a few minutes ago. Hope it reaches you safely!
Jen