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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Now, seeing that pangram (and related but unrelated video) what font does this blog use?

I recently finished Just My Type by Simon Garfield.  It’s a rather interesting history and development on the fonts we use today.  Prior to reading this book, I never really thought much about all the different typefaces we have.  I would just choose one that suited me in what I was trying to accomplish and that was the end of it.  But there is so much history behind each font.  It’s kind of amazing.

The beginnings of fonts can be traced back to Gutenberg.  It makes sense if you think about it.  Before then, books were generally produced by a scribe painstakingly hand copying the original.  Books were obviously relatively rare.  Gutenberg changed that with his press and moveable type.  He gave us our first font, Textura.

I never realized how much effort needs to go into designing a font.  Looking at the list of fonts I have on my computer, I would think that pretty much every possible font has been designed already.  Indeed, this is a problem that type designers face today, how to make sure they aren’t recycling something old.  But I looked at some of the newer typefaces we have today and I can’t honestly see how they’re so different from an older one.   Sure, the bowl of the g is slightly rounder than the old font, but does that really mean that this is a completely new font?  I guess I just don’t have the eye for fonts like the type designers, or even the author of this book.  I was really amused with the different adjectives he used to describe fonts.  Fonts can be described as “colorful” or “imaginative.”  Some are “consistently beautiful.”  These are not words I think of when I look at different typefaces.  Theirs is definitely a different world.

Anyway, if you’re curious about the fonts you see around you, I suggest reading the book.  It has a rather light-hearted tone and easy to read.  You’ll learn a lot about fonts.


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