Because my life is so awesome, and I am so awesome at everything in my life, I have time to sit around and be annoyed by insanely trivial things.
This week I have chosen to direct my ire towards a font.
I am sure when Claude Garamond was going about introducing the apostrophe and being French, he had no idea that his work would eventually be used in every Harry Potter novel. I am also pretty sure that he wouldn’t think that proposal documents, resumes, and other business-centric narratives would be appropriate medium for his particular brand of typesetting. I am definitely sure he would have been pissed that someone ruined what was originally a decent looking font. A few versions, like Adobe Garamond (one used in the aforementioned HP series), are closer to the original and look nice, but the abhorrent Garamond ITC variant (found in MS Word), make me feel like I have gazed upon the Gorgon Queen.
If I inadvertently open a document that contains Garamond ITC, I am overcome with a psychical repulsion, as if the font embodies some unnatural, non-Euclidian characteristics that make it fundamentally incompatible with my brain. It is a deep, confusing aversion that is hidden in my psyche alongside my dislike for non-pulled pork and the name “Chad”.
This font is ugly, conspicuous, and arrogant (it takes a very skilled technical writer to spot an arrogant font). Every time I see it used in a document, I want to aggressively format my hard drive with an axe. Many people think that by using Garamond ITC they can somehow turn their mindless drivel into sophisticated writing, but they are very wrong. All it does is reinforce that they are not capable of making sound, rational decisions.
Unlike its bastard cousin, Comic Sans (which looks like it was the winner of the Kentucky Public School system’s annual “Create Your Own Hand-Drawn Font While Riding an Angry Goat” contest), Garamond ITC looks like someone intentionally spent time and money designing it. Someone who can’t draw a straight line, and doodled too much as a kid. Someone who doesn’t understand the point of serifs. Someone who doesn’t understand aspect ratios. Someone who was probably drunk.
As someone who works on documents of all kinds, and is often responsible for final formatting, I find font choice incredibly important. It lends to the readability, functionality, and arguably the mood of the document. Garamond ITC gives off an, “ostentatiously rich, but still ugly guy who will probably put Rohypnol in your drink when you’re not looking” kind of vibe. It is also obnoxiously small. Defying the conventional “point” of all established typography, Garamond ITC has the audacity to be slightly smaller than whatever size you set it to. What an asshole.
Other fonts like Papyrus, Jokerman, and Impact (admittedly the font I used on AIM for years [I was like 12, screw you for judging me]) have their own egregious flaws, but they pale in comparison to eye-strain that is Garamond ITC. At least people seem to know that these fonts are bad and should be used sparingly (read: never). The population at large still thinks Garamond ITC is somehow acceptable. I won’t stop deriding this demon-spawned typeface until it has reached Comic Sans notoriety, and Google parodies it appropriately.
(I wrote this whole post in Garamond ITC just to have a point of reference while I was writing, and now I think I need to go home early.)