Talking about Type
November 1, 2009 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Type Design on the Radio. TTBOOK (previously) does an hour-long program about typography (podcast here, RM stream here). Segments include interviews with Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones of Gotham fame (they say their "Obama Font" worked best of those in the campaign; others agree), a Verdana-centric interview with Matthew Carter (he comments on the IKEA kerfluffle), and interview Kitty Burns Florey, author of Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting .

The podcast link will age out, but archives should be available here as a stream. The discussion is very non-technical.
posted by Mngo (18 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I love this show only about 1/2 the time, but this was a good one (except for their confusing multiple references to Verdana as "the Internet font"--what does that mean?
posted by Mngo at 11:43 AM on November 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Well, Verdana was probably the first font designed for the web.

It was first installed with... I think it was Explorer 3. I remember people snickering at the time that Microsoft so misunderstood the web that they were including the fonts right in the browser that they needed to make look right.

It's also pretty freaking ubiquitous online today.
posted by rokusan at 11:53 AM on November 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

except for their confusing multiple references to Verdana as "the Internet font"--what does that mean?

Verdana was released in 1996 and was designed to be readable on a computer screen (as opposed to many fonts that are optimized for print). It's also a part of Microsoft's 'core fonts for the web.'
posted by jedicus at 11:53 AM on November 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Dancing about architecture, indeed.
posted by SassHat at 12:04 PM on November 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the Verdana details. I got the gist of that from the show, but the repetition made it sound like they wanted to say it was built right into the routers or something. Aside from that, for a non-expert it was a pretty entertaining broadcast. I especially liked Carter's totally chilled out way of thinking about how you can't control how your product will get used. At one point he looks down at the desk in the studio and notices that the call-sign identification instructions are printed out--in Verdana.
posted by Mngo at 12:06 PM on November 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

You're reading Verdana RIGHT NOW!
posted by zsazsa at 2:12 PM on November 1, 2009

No I'm not, I'm reading Lucida Sans.
posted by !Jim at 2:26 PM on November 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

And I'm reading Corbel, but I do get the point.
posted by Mngo at 2:41 PM on November 1, 2009

Oh man, I love TTBOOK. It may be my favorite public radio show of all time. I'm looking forward to listening to this one, but in the meantime, I'll offer one of my favorites, Religion 2.0. It has been a great help for me in clarifying what I mean when I say I'm religious.
posted by donnagirl at 4:28 PM on November 1, 2009

Verdana decisively beat Comic Sans for the title of Interweb Font on the day that Geocities was shut down.
posted by acb at 4:28 PM on November 1, 2009

posted by mccarty.tim at 6:53 PM on November 1, 2009

Type designers make anal retentives look like freewheelling slouches.
posted by HTuttle at 8:09 PM on November 1, 2009

MetaFilter: Makes anal retentives look like freewheeling slouches.
posted by clorox at 9:59 PM on November 1, 2009

And I use Georgia, Verdana's serifed sister, here on MeFi.
posted by clorox at 10:03 PM on November 1, 2009

I actually have no idea what any of the fonts are being currently used to display text on my computer. I think I like it that way.
posted by Severian at 5:52 AM on November 2, 2009

Ha ha ha! I started ignoring TTBOOK but I was browsing Podcasts last night -- all it took was 'Type' to make me go CLICK. I need a doctor, or something. Thanks for this!
posted by cavalier at 6:01 AM on November 2, 2009

The serifs are sharp and pointed; clean pen strokes evoke a well-pressed Armani suit [...]

You know, I love fonts. I love fonts more than what is probably sane. Documentaries like Helvetica are absolutely riveting to me.

Comparing a font's lines to a suit? I don't -- er, wait. I started this comment to call this line out for being bizarre, but now I find myself agreeing with it. Gotham would scream fashionable, urban, great lines. Cough... nothing to see here!
posted by cavalier at 6:06 AM on November 2, 2009

It's ironic that the book on handwriting uses fonts, not handwriting, for its cover.
posted by Typographica at 8:18 PM on November 2, 2009

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