Saturday, December 6, 2008


Know a student, colleague, friend, or acquaintance who is obsessed with the weight, style, and width of printed characters (in hardcopy and digital format)? Such individuals are unabashed fontophiles. They're the kind of people who are hungry for text. These crazed connoisseurs of letters, words, and paragraphs are constantly adding to and analyzing their alphanumeric appetites. They hunger for printed material. In addition to scanning any form of text for the value of its content, they're also assessing it for its aesthetic attributes. Take them out to lunch and they'll devour and relish digesting a menu as much as (if not more) than any entree. They're just as likely to snack on the contents of a few billboards on the way to the restaurant.

Fontophiles amuse and frustrate their friends with constant criticism of why some fonts are more or less pleasing than others. The misinformed use of fonts offends these folks. When writing, they spend more time choosing an appropriate font than they do composing text. Whether scrutinizing serifs or sampling a new selection of script, they lose themselves in their love of letters. They also tend to have very slow computers, having installed as many fonts as they can find.

If you know such a person and are looking for a great gift for your font fanatic, check out the Typographic Desk Reference. This tome is a thoroughly engaging reference guide of all manner of typeriffic terminology that's packed with over a thousand facts on typography. Your friend will positively appreciate ascender lines, groove on glyphs, and go hysterical over historiated letters.

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