June 14, 2001

 

Normally, I am loath to mention "studies" as reported in the popular press. Especially those "studies" commissioned by corporations like printing company Lexmark International on such lightweight topics such as "how computer typefaces can reveal secrets of your personality and influence what the reader thinks about you".

(this "article" is essentially a reprint of this press release)

Don't use Courier unless you want to look like a real nerd, the study reports. It's a favourite for librarians and data entry companies. 

(Rain Barrel, incidentally, is done in "New Courier". Since I'm a librarian, I guess I'm allowed. But what a heavy price to pay for screen legibility! Because I use "New Courier"  I not only I look like a real nerd, but I exude "automaton-like coldness")

And nothing validates the worthiness of a study than name-dropping of celebrities to make your report into print.

Sample celebrity fonts, according to the Lexmark study:

Jennifer Lopez (sex kitten) Shelly
Peter Mansbridge (trustworthy and respectable) Times
Richard Branson (professional yet appealing) Verdana
Tom Green (attention-seeker) Comic Sans
Ricky Martin (sexually ambiguous) Palatino

I know that this "study" is really too stupid to actually waste critical thought but the choices presented really make me wonder.

What does "professional yet appealing" really mean? I don't particularly think of Richard Branson as professional or appealing.

Do the sexually ambiguous really use Palatino? Can you "out" individuals by their choice of font?

The full report can be found here. It's font? I can't tell. Man, does this guy hate Courier...

 

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