Like it or not fonts are a part of your life. So it shouldn’t be surprising when they end up as part of your television shows.
Yesterday I watched the Valentine’s themed episode of “Splitting Up Together” where one of the characters asks if someone could write in Helvetica because “it’s the only font that she’ll read.”
It was a great line in the show, but if you weren’t familiar with fonts it might have just sounded like the character was being eccentric. Those who regularly read this blog know that Helvetica isn’t just a font for eccentrics, it’s THE font that changed modern design. So the joke actually works on two levels (clever writers!).
One of the more recent TV Shows we’d watch as a family built and entire character to be more than just a bit quirky. The show is THE MIDDLE and the character was named Brick Heck.
And what was one of his big quirks? He loved fonts. Yes one of the most popular shows on television and one of the most popular sitcom families of the decade had a character who’s espousal for fonts was not only slightly noticed, but a significant part of his character.
The clips are hilarious even if you’re not a font person, but since it’s likely you are this will be even more funny for you.
What favorite font conversations have you noticed on television?
My supportive wife recommended that this FontFriday be dedicated to Wingdings.
Seriously? I thought. Is that even a font?
She countered, Well, it’s been on my font list since as long as I can remember.
She’s right. It has been around a while and it’s also part of the list of items labeled as fonts that appear from the drop down menu of Microsoft Office applications. But, is it a font?
It’s true you could communicate using the symbols of Wingdings. People are using emoji to replace whole sentences. In fact, my parents speak better emoji than I do. Of course emoji isn’t the first pictorial method of communicating. Neither is Wingdings. Pictorial communication goes back as far as mankind.
Wingdings is a dingbat font. Which is a term used for a printer’s ornament. Thus Wingdings is merely a collection of printer’s ornaments. It’s not a bad collection for the 1990s when it was originally created though (again) I would venture to believe that emojis are more popular.
What’s neat about Wingdings is it isn’t just an item in your font list. It’s also a patent.
Yes, Wingdings is a patent.
USD341848S is a patent that shows a printout of each character of the font. The patent lists this font’s birth year as 1991. So my wife saying that it’s been there as long as she can remember is correct, but seriously, Wingdings?
For producing documents inside of Microsoft applications I will often choose Calibri or Calibri light. While I have my frustrations with Arial’s creation, Calibri is one font that Microsoft got right.
Researching Calibri is also fun. It’s got a great backstory (Wikipedia), and was even responsible for someone in Pakistan going to jail.
The Microsoft font Calibri is now a key piece of evidence in a corruption investigation surrounding Pakistan’s prime minister. Investigators noticed that documents handed over by the prime minister’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, were typed up in the font Calibri. But the documents were dated from 2006 — and Calibri wasn’t widely available at that point, making a good case that they were forged.
The Express Tribune says that Pakistan’s court-appointed investigators sent the documents off to a lab for examination. The lab noticed the discrepancy, with one of its experts saying that since “Calibri was not commercially available before 31st January 2007 … neither of the originals of the certified declarations is correctly dated and happy [sic] to have been created at some later point in time.”