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Al Gore, Font Designer
January 10, 2010 11:30 AM   Subscribe

Is there anything Al Gore doesn't do? Enjoy the charming tale of a font and a Nobel Prize winner.
posted by ivey (40 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great story, thanks for sharing.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:39 AM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


One thing he doesn't seem to do is bring warm weather when he visits.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:47 AM on January 10, 2010


If he's so green, why isn't he making an ugly and unreadable font that saves ink, HMMM?
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:48 AM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I heart Al Gore. And his new "one."
posted by buzzkillington at 11:51 AM on January 10, 2010


Don't get him started about global kerning.
posted by hal9k at 11:57 AM on January 10, 2010 [30 favorites]


1o1!
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:59 AM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Come now, hal9k. That's hardly justified.
posted by lumensimus at 11:59 AM on January 10, 2010 [24 favorites]


Ok, type nerds: don't many high-quality typefaces contain both forms of that digit (along with versions where all digits sits on the baseline)?

(I'm sure this has a name, but I seem to have swapped out my typography module today and my google-fu fails me.)
posted by effbot at 12:03 PM on January 10, 2010


Where was the editor in this process? Why was the author--Al Gore or anyone else--working directly with the designer and therefore in the role of proofing and realizing that this wasn't the best font for a book with some data and numbered charts and graphs? I mean, hurrah for designers and I love type geeks, but WTF? I guess that's the point of the post, that All Gore invented the Internet, discovered Global Warming *and knows font. This post is kinda irritating.
posted by njbradburn at 12:15 PM on January 10, 2010


I've never liked that looks-like-a-tiny-capital-I 1. It usually shows up in page numbers.
posted by dfan at 12:20 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Al Gore got so screwed with the whole invented the Internet thing. Of course what he actually did say was that he , "took the initiative in creating the internet." Which was true.

By morphing the phrasing to invented the internet it takes an accurate if slightly grandiose statement and makes it the rantings of a megalomaniacal crackpot. I don't think this alone was his problem. During his campaign he was about as electrifying as soggy newsprint. But it's always bugged me how badly he got shafted on this particular issue.
posted by Babblesort at 12:21 PM on January 10, 2010 [14 favorites]


I was just about to come in here praising MeFi for being the only place with a user base intelligent enough that no-one is going to trot out that old invented-the-internet bullshit. Oh well, guess not.
posted by sveskemus at 12:29 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't think anyone was trotting it out. I got the impression that njbradburn, the only mention prior to me, was saying it is a trite way to think about Al Gore. I was agreeing.
posted by Babblesort at 12:34 PM on January 10, 2010


I guess if you pay a lot of money for a font, you can request bug fixes. I think the change is a good one, having a 1 look like an I can be confusing.
posted by demiurge at 12:35 PM on January 10, 2010


OKICURA1!
posted by darkstar at 12:35 PM on January 10, 2010


I was just about to come in here praising MeFi for being the only place with a user base intelligent enough that no-one is going to trot out that old invented-the-internet bullshit.
Especially because I know that I'm one of maybe 4 MeFites who are driven batshit insane by Al Gore fetishization, yes, I will use the invented-the-internet bullshit here whenever I get the opportunity. ;>
posted by njbradburn at 12:40 PM on January 10, 2010


Sorry, Babblesort.
posted by njbradburn at 12:41 PM on January 10, 2010


Hey to paraphrase Rumsfeld, we go to post with the impressions we have not the impressions other people meant. :-)
posted by Babblesort at 12:45 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


True fact: In exchange for getting the DoJ off Microsoft's back, Bush got to redesign the "W" in Comic Sans.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:46 PM on January 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


I enjoy stating that Gore invented the Internet in a completely matter-of-fact manner. Not to mock him nearly so much as that it's a great "fact" similar to "facts" about Chuck Norris. The world's a lot more fun when you add a lot of whimsy to it, and no right-thinking person could ever think that one person actually invented the entire Internet, so there's little harm in it.
posted by explosion at 2:07 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Boy, I'm sure glad we didn't have to tolerate eight years of a President who thought about things with that level of detail. I prefer guys who let lackeys with nicknames like "Turd Blossom" sweat the small stuff.
posted by chasing at 2:11 PM on January 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is there anything Al Gore doesn't do?

Um, be President?
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:16 PM on January 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I enjoy stating that Gore invented the Internet in a completely matter-of-fact manner. Not to mock him nearly so much as that it's a great "fact" similar to "facts" about Chuck Norris.

That's cool except a lot of other people use it to mock him. Which means it gets pretty tiring. (I'll try and stop complaining now, sorry.)
posted by sveskemus at 2:23 PM on January 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am the only one here who can't stand him?
posted by A189Nut at 2:47 PM on January 10, 2010


You haven't read any of the comments in this thread, have you?
posted by ardgedee at 2:52 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, A189Nut, you are the only person here who can't stand him. There's no one else here as special as you. Tell us more about yourself.
posted by sveskemus at 3:15 PM on January 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


Eh. When he goes on Dancing With The Stars, then I'll be impressed.
posted by jonmc at 3:18 PM on January 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Like him or not, think about how different the world would be right now if Al Gore had been President.

Seems like the day he wasn't allowed to take office was the day all this Potterville stuff started going down.
posted by silkyd at 3:52 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Come to think of it, Potterville would have been a pretty good font name if Al Gore had designed it during his bitter period right after the election. (You know: When he was fat and bearded.)
posted by silkyd at 4:28 PM on January 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I guess that's the point of the post, that All Gore invented the Internet, discovered Global Warming *and knows font.

Yes. Yes he does. I hear he also makes a great omelet and has an excellent family recipe for Tennessee bbq.

This post is kinda irritating.

I realize that you get sort of annoyed that the whole tenor of this post is all about "Is there anything that Al Gore can't do?" but the answer is no, there is nothing he can't do. Well, other than the whole "be president" thing.

I suppose that is sort of the tradeoff, though, and a big contrast to how the conventional wisdom was 8 years ago. Now, we have a sort of Al-Gore-as-nerd-action-hero and the guy who actually did become president faded into obscurity and even his former supporters are kind of embarrassed about the whole thing, whereas back in 2002, the CV would have claimed the exact reverse.
posted by deanc at 7:01 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Especially because I know that I'm one of maybe 4 MeFites who are driven batshit insane by Al Gore fetishization, yes, I will use the invented-the-internet bullshit here whenever I get the opportunity. ;>

As everyone knows, the best way to deal with profound disagreement is to regurgitate spurious lies and mischaracterizations.
posted by uri at 8:38 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there anything Al Gore doesn't do?

Heal the sick.

Raise the dead.

And make the little girls go right out of their heads.

...actually, I'm sure he's got some squealing fangirls at Greenpeace or something who want to have his babies.

Anyway, I'm not really sure what the point of this story is except, "Font designer makes their '1' look like an 'I' for some stupid reason, and Al Gore told them to change it." Not sure what I'm supposed to get out of that.
posted by Target Practice at 9:19 PM on January 10, 2010


Is there anything Al Gore doesn't do?

Sensible choices for V-P running mates?
posted by rodgerd at 12:23 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The 1 numeral in that font did look very out of place.
posted by schwa at 5:41 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there anything Al Gore doesn't do?

Heal the sick.

Raise the dead.




So you say.
posted by grubi at 8:24 AM on January 11, 2010


My mind is clearer now. At last all too well I can see where we all soon will be.
If you strip away the myth from the man you will see where we all soon will be.
posted by Babblesort at 10:58 AM on January 11, 2010


Except of course for the fact that oldstyle 1 should not look like I and acronyms shouldn’t be typeset in small caps. (Autobloggatio.)
posted by joeclark at 11:43 AM on January 11, 2010


I was just about to come in here praising MeFi for being the only place with a user base intelligent enough that no-one is going to trot out that old invented-the-internet bullshit.

It's not just bullshit, it's bullshit that has its own Wikipedia article, Vanity Fair feature, Salon article, rebuttal by Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn, and of course a full page of resources by Seth Finkelstein. I hope you don't now think less of any of those people or sources. If you dislike bullshit, what it needs is airing.
posted by dhartung at 2:17 PM on January 11, 2010


(And here is 168 MeFi comments on the VF article.)
posted by dhartung at 2:18 PM on January 11, 2010


Al Gore: "This number 1 that looks exactly like an I may be confusing because you can't tell if it's an I or a 1."
Font Designer: "We would never have thought of that! We will make it look like a normal 1 right away."
Internet: "Al Gore is a font nerd!"
posted by smackfu at 6:52 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


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