Tag Archives: fonts

Helvetica sucks.

Enjoy using Helvetica? Be it for ad copy, corporate web sites, or the odd letter to your granny? Think again.

Somebody with more oomph than yours truly explains the dire situation of Global Helveticaism in plain words and with shitloads of credibility. Yes, the name Bruno Maag might only turn the ears of typo geeks like meself red with glee. But his frankness and sarcasm make this interview well worth a read – even for people who constantly mistake Arial for Times. Or something.

Check it out. And stop bloody using Helvetica for everything. It’s not “Swiss Style” or something, we guys have been employing better typefaces for ages. Helvetica plain sucks for longer passages, and never ever even think about using it for body text. Pretty please? You’ll make baby Jesus cry if you do. Don’t be lazy. Look for better alternatives for what you want to do. If it still ends up being Helvetica, so be it. The typeface still blows for copy, though.

Now excuse me while I check my style sheet for accidental irony.

A love letter to Adobe, and Acrobat.

Thanks a bunch, Adobe. You had heard the cries of pain, mostly from Windows users, thus Reader 8.x: Much faster! And later, Reader 9.x: Even faster!

But where did those speed improvements come from? Apparently mostly from trial-and-error rendering of Postscript-flavoured (OpenType) fonts. Ironic, sort of, considering you guys pushed Postscript to begin with. But TTF-flavoured fonts still display just fine.

But hey, it’s not a biggie, is it? Just use web fonts or the € 600 Acrobat Pro package to generate PDF documents. Thus, all obscure hinting information necessary for proper font rendering will be included. Never mind documents generated with other PDF writers showed up perfectly in Reader 6 and 7, and still do so with alternatives such as Foxit or Apple’s Preview. Who cares about alternatives anyway?

You’re smarter than this … You are perfectly aware of the fact that 99 % of end-users read PDF documents with your software. Hence people producing loads of for-screen PDFs require both your software and 600 bloody Euros to make sure customers won’t throw up over their keyboards when opening invoices or letters. At least them invoices and letters that include serif Postscript fonts.

I am deeply humbled by this display of sheer ingenuity. PDF is a rather open format? Well, let’s make sure only documents generated with our stuff displays fine with our stuff. Microsoft should avert their eyes, blinded by your glorious rip-off dedication to deliver integrated solutions.