This morning I’ve been reading about typefaces, prompted by a tiny piece in the Observer yesterday about classic font designs. It mentioned Wim Crouwel’s 1976 typeface New Alphabet (see below), which aims to display better on computer screens by avoiding curves. It also shows the fun you can have messing about with accepted symbols.

Technology continues to affect typeface design. Typefaces that are used on screen rather than on paper change depending on the machine displaying them, leaving the designers with little control over their font (see this NY Times article).

In other font news…last October, New York City announced it would be changing its street signs from all capitals to the more friendly initial capital. As the Mind Your Language Blog demonstrates, full capitalisation these days signifies SHOUTING, so this is probably a good idea.

I also find initial capitals can be used too much, especially in corporate writing. Only proper nouns – names – need capitalisation (it’s German that capitalises all nouns), hence: “The people want President Mubarak out so they can have a new president.”