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New Egyptian régime blows its chance to legitimately use the Papyrus font
February 14, 2011 10:56 AM   Subscribe

The new Egyptian régime blows its chance to legitimately use the Papyrus font. The Egyptian president’s official site (for standardistas: HTML 3.2 with no language declared!) squanders a chance at typographic symbolism, Typophile explains: “Unfortunately, they had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to legitimately use Papyrus and they blew it. Instead it’s Algerian.” (Type specimens: Papyrus; Algerian. Cf. Papyrus Watch [previously].)
posted by joeclark (71 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is the greatest crisis that has faced Egypt for as long as I can remember
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:57 AM on February 14, 2011 [20 favorites]


WELP SO MUCH FOR THAT REVOLUTION AM I RIGHT GUYS
posted by mightygodking at 10:58 AM on February 14, 2011 [16 favorites]


Next, on Kent's People!

My fox affiliate has a soft show called Zappolo's People, it makes me cringe to think of it.
posted by boo_radley at 10:59 AM on February 14, 2011


I hope Rory Marinich revisits his rant from the last Comic Sans post, it was brilliant.
posted by thylacine at 11:01 AM on February 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Quickly, my friends. To the barricades.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:01 AM on February 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


The new Egyptian régime blows its chance to legitimately use the Papyrus font.

I’m pretty sure the new Egyptian regime is not a Thai Fusion restaurant.
posted by Artw at 11:01 AM on February 14, 2011 [43 favorites]


...but we can dream.
posted by The Whelk at 11:03 AM on February 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


A post about someone not using an awful font is just as bad as a post about someone using an awful font. Which is pretty bad.
posted by sveskemus at 11:04 AM on February 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


By eschewing Papyrus, the Egyptian people decided not to have a website reminiscent of the Thai restaurant, in a strip mall, in a dead Midwestern town. Today, we are all Egyptians.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:04 AM on February 14, 2011 [15 favorites]


This makes no sense whatsoever. What's the complaint? That they should have used "Papyrus"? Isn't it obvious that they used "Algerian" for a reason?
posted by koeselitz at 11:04 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Typophile missed its chance to not say something stupid.
posted by Babblesort at 11:06 AM on February 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


... I mean, maybe it's just me, but it's hard not to see the choice of "Algerian" as a kind of solidarity with another African nation in upheaval.
posted by koeselitz at 11:07 AM on February 14, 2011 [4 favorites]




Obviously they decided that enough crimes against humanity had already been committed. Well done indeed.
posted by elizardbits at 11:12 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


People died. Using a novelty font so us in the West can have a giggle doesn't exactly do their sacrifice justice.
posted by dougrayrankin at 11:13 AM on February 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Considering Papyrus has been co-opted by damn near every Christian and pseudo-christian church, group, organization, coffee house and bake sale, I'd say the Egyptians did well to avoid it.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:14 AM on February 14, 2011


Something something Comic Sans, grar something: something something Helvetica!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:18 AM on February 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


You don't think using Algerian is a signal?!
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:21 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you know what this is?

  > · <  

It's the world's smallest HTML Validation service, and it's checking syntax markup just for you.
posted by wcfields at 11:21 AM on February 14, 2011 [23 favorites]


(Algerian is kinda the new Papyrus, anyway.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:22 AM on February 14, 2011


This was super-secret code for where the next revolution was scheduled to occur. So after raising the hood at Algeria's website, I think we might wanna keep our eyes on the People's Republic of MsoNormal or the Kingdom of FrontPagea for the next week or so.
posted by rahnefan at 11:24 AM on February 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


This Papyrus vs. Algerian debate is moot. Anybody who's studied ancient history knows that the Egyptians invented Dingbats.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:26 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It unreasonably bothers me that the person who posted the thread on typophile wasn't even bothered to install a large enough font set to be able to properly render the Arabic text. (Although it's not completely their fault, I guess, it looks like they used Arabic Windows-1256 to encode it without setting that in the headers, and Ffx wasn't smart enough to guess it.)

Here's what it should look like, as near as I can tell: screenshot.
posted by skynxnex at 11:29 AM on February 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Now if you want to get really font nerdy, youd bring up the Slab style type faces that became popular after Napoleon's conquest if Egypt.

You, sir, are obviously one of my people.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:32 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I imagine the people of Egypt are pretty tired of Papyrus, as well as jokes about pyramids, mummies and "denile".
posted by DU at 11:34 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This Papyrus vs. Algerian debate is moot. Anybody who's studied ancient history knows that the Egyptians invented Dingbats.

It should be in three typefaces stacked on top of each other - Helvetica, Comic Sans and Wing Dings.

That way, in 4000 years, technarcheologists will be still able to translate it, no matter which Internation ultimately survived the great IP4 war - be it Metafilter, Mumsnet or 4chan.
posted by garius at 11:34 AM on February 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


Is there anyone who speaks in public in a non-ironic way to non-typesetter/artist types about fonts who isn't a douche?
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:38 AM on February 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Artw: "I’m pretty sure the new Egyptian regime is not a Thai Fusion restaurant."

It is, on the other hand, the subtitles from Avatar. So there's that.
posted by brundlefly at 11:38 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this really a thread about Egypt's not using a bad font? That's silly.

It bothers me a lot that every Drupal-based site (this means Typophile) uses the exact same layout/language for their login box. Especially the red stars they add to the ends of the two fields to indicate "required field", because there are no un-required fields. It's really ugly and Drupal doesn't make it easy to change how that box looks.

I also dislike that they have both a "Create new account" and a "Create an account" basically right on top of each other. And I dislike that they don't use an iconic blue to indicate the link to their Twitter account. And has anybody in the history of the Internet ever actually thought that a breadcrumb navigation was prettier or more functional than simply designing a website with a decent navigation? Couldn't they at least turn their logo into a link for the home page? And why does their main forum page devote half its space to promoting its "top users" and advertising the fact that it has the same default tracker that every Drupal site has had since 2005?

It bugs me when web sites ostensibly for designers are pointlessly ugly. And it bugs me even more that people on these web sites spend their time looking down their noses at people just because they spend their time doing things other than browsing typography forums. Also Papyrus was developed by a UK firm and this whole thread is silly and does anybody actually have anything legitimately interesting to say about Papyrus or Egypt's use of type? This doesn't strike me as the best of the web.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:41 AM on February 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


I imagine the people of Egypt are pretty tired of Papyrus, as well as jokes about pyramids, mummies and "denile".

I imagine the people of Egypt don't really give a shit about outsiders' jokes, controversies, or brouhahas.
posted by blucevalo at 11:43 AM on February 14, 2011


Klavika might be appropriate.
posted by Kabanos at 11:44 AM on February 14, 2011


drupal more liek derpal amirite?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:51 AM on February 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


People, people. You need to use CSS stylesheets to make the internet look like it should.

Also: People of Egypt: Do not embed style elements inline! Refer to this website. That way, you won't need to use Frontpage anymore.

That said, that's a sweet gif.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:54 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


And yes, I'm well aware of the irony of arguing that Egypt should be sovereign in their development of a new democracy, while criticizing their "Under Construction" page.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:55 AM on February 14, 2011


@Rory Marinich : Drupal is an awesome platform but you are incorrect to say: "It bugs me when web sites ostensibly for designers are pointlessly ugly."

i've been ranting for years that Drupal is only meant for designers with strong web dev skills. it's just not web designer friendly. and i say this as someone who is finishing packaging her own damn distribution as a means to saving hundreds of hours in just configuring and re-designing the basics.


and BOOM!

@Kabanos : "Klavika might be appropriate."

indeed.
posted by liza at 11:57 AM on February 14, 2011


r3@L p0L1t1c@L h@x0rz u$3 l33t$p3@k! pWnz0Rz!!!

This is what they should have for a website.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:58 AM on February 14, 2011


The Whelk for the win.

Close this up on cortex.
posted by marxchivist at 11:58 AM on February 14, 2011


btw: it seems that Drupal is really popular among Egyptian bloggers. part of the reason is the language support; but also, security. it's a platform that, compared to wordpress, has less ways of getting bogged down by spammers and hackers. that's why i use it.

ok, enough of the derail. carrying on with the font nerditude. it amuses me :)
posted by liza at 12:00 PM on February 14, 2011


favorited for hilarious banter.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:03 PM on February 14, 2011


WELP SO MUCH FOR THAT REVOLUTION AM I RIGHT GUYS

Go ahead and hate, but we all know -- just as every horror franchise must eventually take place in outer space -- every major event covered on the Blue will eventually have its own dedicated Font thread.
posted by Panjandrum at 12:04 PM on February 14, 2011


Drupal is an awesome platform but you are incorrect to say: "It bugs me when web sites ostensibly for designers are pointlessly ugly." I've been ranting for years that Drupal is only meant for designers with strong web dev skills.

I didn't mean Drupal is pointlessly ugly, although Drupal could certainly be much prettier. I was referring to Typophile itself. Incidentally, its front page might be the ugliest thing I've seen online in a month.

Drupal is maybe my favorite CMS (it's competing with ExpressionEngine for #1) because it does such a great job of abstracting its content types so that a non-programmer can still whip up some very complex site structures. But it's a pain in the ass to customize the non-content parts of Drupal. I'm spoiled though because I grew up using vBulletin, which is beautifully templated and has a special interface just for editing default site text.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:05 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


randomkeystrike: "Is there anyone who speaks in public in a non-ironic way to non-typesetter/artist types about fonts who isn't a douche?"

I'm... just having my tea so this may be me, but I'm having a really hard time parsing what you're asking. There's a Typophile thread linked, which is pretty much as niche a community as you're going to find, and you're complaining that they're relying on insider humor and terms of art?

Isn't this a bit like going to anandtech and complaining that they're being so opaque and why can't they just talk about computers like normal people?
posted by danny the boy at 12:06 PM on February 14, 2011


Let’s not feed Rory Marinich, but I filed dozens of MetaTalk-like bugs on Typophile a year ago, including bugs on æsthetics and homepage usability. I was eventually thanked by one of the admins for doing so, but essentially nothing has been improved, save for actually taking down spam in under a week.
posted by joeclark at 12:07 PM on February 14, 2011


That's ok. After the Algerians have their revolution, they have a chance to reciprocate with Papyrus! Consider it a cross-cultural exchange.
posted by symbioid at 12:25 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will no one rid me of these turbulent typface nerds?
posted by electroboy at 12:30 PM on February 14, 2011


Just 'cause it's called that doesn't mean it's a good choice. Choosing a font because of its name is purely for the lazy and ignorant. And MetaFilter, apparently (which even takes the laziness one step further by using slanted letters instead of proper italics).
posted by Sys Rq at 12:37 PM on February 14, 2011


I await the thread on the role of Egyptian hipsters with fixies in the recent revolution.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 12:38 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dammit, I swear it was Meta...
posted by Sys Rq at 12:45 PM on February 14, 2011


You’re right, Sys Rq, at least most of the time (but not with Brothers for O Brother, Where Art Thou?). But in the context of a completely undesigned governmental homepage, it becomes a matter of interest to choose one novelty font with the name of a separate Arab African country over another font whose name has reference to one’s own Arab African country.
posted by joeclark at 12:56 PM on February 14, 2011


Sit, Amet, sit. Good dog!
posted by norm at 12:58 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I dunno, joe. I took it as a winking design joke. I mean, what other reason would anyone ever choose to use frigging Algerian outside of a ten-page banner torn from a screechy laser printer in 1988?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:10 PM on February 14, 2011


I await the thread on the role of Egyptian hipsters with fixies in the recent revolution.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 12:38 PM on 2/14
[+] [!]

Weren't the revolutionaries young and college educated? There'd be a few hipsters in the bunch
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:19 PM on February 14, 2011


Weren't the revolutionaries young and college educated? There'd be a few hipsters in the bunch.

If there were any hipsters in Egypt, they were at home, bitching about the font choices at the rally.
posted by notion at 1:29 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"This makes no sense whatsoever. What's the complaint?"

"Typophile missed its chance to not say something stupid."

"People died. Using a novelty font so us in the West can have a giggle doesn't exactly do their sacrifice justice."

"Is there anyone who speaks in public in a non-ironic way to non-typesetter/artist types about fonts who isn't a douche?"


I really don't think the Typophile post was meant to stand up this type of criticism. It was a throwaway joke; people on other parts of the internet are also allowed to make them.

Though it probably doesn't do any good for them to be posted to Metafilter, just to give everyone's attack reflex a bit of exercise.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 1:30 PM on February 14, 2011


I await the thread on the role of Egyptian hipsters with fixies in the recent revolution.

For now, how about a film about hipsters on fixies in Egypt?
posted by Kabanos at 1:42 PM on February 14, 2011


Sys Rq: "...(which even takes the laziness one step further by using slanted letters instead of proper italics)."

I thought italics were slanted letters.

As for the rest of you font geeks, commence fighting each other to the death over kerning or descender lengths. The winner gets to banish Comic Sans, Dingbats, Goudy Stout and all of those unreadable handwriting fonts forever.

Just keep your mitts off of OCR A!

posted by double block and bleed at 1:45 PM on February 14, 2011


Looks like I forgot to close a tag. Leave OCR B alone, too!
posted by double block and bleed at 1:47 PM on February 14, 2011


HTML 6 should just force everyone to use one readable font, so that at least one medium will be safe from typography nerds.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:24 PM on February 14, 2011


HTML 6 should just force everyone to use one readable font, so that at least one medium will be safe from typography nerds.

As long as its Arial, not Helvetica - just to really piss people off.
posted by garius at 3:07 PM on February 14, 2011


Does anyone else remember a debate where the argument was that a font that used the penstrokes of the Hebrew alphabet to make letters from the Latin alphabet was essentially the most horrible thing to happen to Jews - ever? (Or did someone just lace my coffee with something?)

Either way, I'm pleasantly surprised to find a thread full of quiet eye-rolling and head shaking instead of burning police cars.

Carry on.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:13 PM on February 14, 2011


My favorite thing about Papyrus:

Devils Rancher: "Papyrus is the "ethnic flutes" synth patch of the design world."
posted by yaymukund at 3:15 PM on February 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: Just to give everyone's attack reflex a bit of exercise.

Also: "Children of the Revolution" just came on my iTunes.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:33 PM on February 14, 2011


I thought italics were slanted letters.

Yes, but being slanted is only one of their properties; true italics are also rounder and more flowing.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:31 PM on February 14, 2011


garius: Just go use gopher: It is text only, so you can set it to any font without messing up the layout. You may need to use a fixed-width one from time to time though.
posted by Canageek at 6:05 PM on February 14, 2011


There's an Avatar joke in here somewhere, but I got nuthin'.
posted by zardoz at 7:14 PM on February 14, 2011


I await the thread on the role of Egyptian hipsters with fixies in the recent revolution.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 12:38 PM on February 14


Well..
posted by cali at 9:49 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Um. Matt. After the Comic Sans fiasco, why isn't this thread in Papyrus?)
posted by SPrintF at 10:22 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mercy, SPrintF. Common mercy.
posted by The Whelk at 4:55 AM on February 15, 2011


garius: Just go use gopher: It is text only, so you can set it to any font without messing up the layout. You may need to use a fixed-width one from time to time though.

I kid. Frankly, you can probably very much file me in the "typeface nerd" category.
posted by garius at 4:56 AM on February 15, 2011


I thought italics were slanted letters.

As mentioned upthread, they are usually more flow-y as well. Proper italics use a completely different set of glyphs from faked italics, where the browser just takes the regular characters and slants them.

/pedantry, carry on.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 6:31 AM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm... just having my tea so this may be me, but I'm having a really hard time parsing what you're asking.

True, that. Sloppy on my part; I'm just goofing on the general run of assclowns who seem to make up my twitter feed, which sometimes runs about 50% witty observations on comic sans...

Maybe I just follow douches...
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:18 PM on February 15, 2011


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