My Short History Of Font

“When we talk in company we lose our unique tone of voice, and this leads us to make statements which in no way correspond to our real thoughts.” – (Friedrich Nietzsche) Poor guy. Shoulda got a mind of his own.

Aaaand font! Over at GalleyCat, I watched the loveliest video about fonts and book design. It’s done by Penguin, makes me swoon over all of the designers showcased, and also makes me wonder whether it isn’t just Penguin I’m in love with – as opposed to the iPad, if you recall the video posted a few entries back. I’ll probably watch the video again, but not before going through all my wonderful daydreams and font-related fantasies. Le sigh. *skips into a freshly painted meadow*

So, firstly, I have always used Microsoft Word to write (on a computer) and am not one of those cool people who downloads additional fonts. Many of whom seem to have little regard for whether the document will be readable. Honestly, there’s a common sense guideline, or so one would think. ANYWHOM! Aside from the word processor on which I wrote (horrendous) poetry, I’ve always needed to choose font before I could write at length. Admittedly, when I was a tween, it was very common for me to write in unrealistic and whimsical-beyond-use fonts like Edwardian Script ITC. Le sigh. Aside from the fact that you have to blow this one up to 20 before you can even pretend to make out your own words!

Eventually, I got over it – I was never wild about a lot of the capitals actually. So, late in high school, when I wrote my first novel  (by which I mean those other two YA novels that I didn’t save are entirely lost and even the font cannot be recalled!) I did so in Lucida Calligraphy. This book was/is Callisto’s Charm (one of two novels for which I’m currently querying and which can be seen in the Pages area up top, to the right, or right here).

Something that may seem a bit…strange? I have two fonts that I associate with people. In the first case, it may even be because literally a decade ago, this font was her preference for writing. In the second case, I’m actually not entirely sure if it’s a personality thing to which I assigned a font or whether he ever wrote in this font? I really can’t say. But here they are.

Then there was  the novella series whose personality was clearly encapsulated in Arial Narrow…the only acceptable variant of Arial, imho.

With the design themes in Word 07, I’ve become more familiar with Calibri (and, of course, Cambria, with which it’s paired) and really enjoy using this one for the short stories I’ve been working on and also on the treatment I first composed for a screenplay. It’s really unobtrusive so I can compose without distraction. (At this point, I should probably assure you that Times New Roman is so boring as to be its own distraction.)

Then: Papyrus. I’ve tried so hard. It’s actually a little too pueblo for me (meaning I’ve seen it used in a particular project with that theme and now can’t separate it). It’s like it just can’t sustain anything for me. I try and always have to reassign.

Finally: Monotype Corsiva. I suppose this would constitute a guilty pleasure.

Le sigh. I think that’s the majority of them. The other thing that has to be determined before I can feel comfortable writing on a new page – and this one is a relatively new neurosis – is the color of the page. I think having written on stark white computer screens since about eight or so, I have finally had my fill and rarely can I get going without finding the right shade for the backdrop.

Whelp! I probably speak for all of us when I say, this was a wonderfully, dopamine-releasing exercise, yes?


7 thoughts on “My Short History Of Font

  1. Are you dissing Papyrus, font of the almighty AVATAR? If so, I don’t care.

    Interesting. Is that the font on my blog? Sadly I haven’t even looked yet at the specific name. The one I do 95% of my writing is Courier New, because that’s the font they want for submissions and such so I figured hey, might as well get used to looking at what everyone else will be looking at. That and I like it.


  2. I am hugely not a fan of Courier New and even though you’ve said that before, everything I read asks for TNR. Both of which are not cool.

    Wait, you said nothing of the font that reminds me of you!


    • Well, I mean. I guess I am a comic. I can see how you’d think my entire life would boil down to one long joke. Sure. That works for me.


      ..kidding. Actually Umm. I’m indifferent? I did actually respond, I just responded by saying I’m unaffected. I guess.


    • I associate Andy with Comic Sans, too.
      I have fond memories of Lucida Handwriting, but am now drawn to Magneto. And Showcard Gothic. Cooper Black is tasty as well.


      • Really?! Okay, that’s super weird that we both do.

        As I said my fonts are all found on Word….but those names strike me as being thicker and more robust than I’d like. Too domineering for writing, for me.


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