Why is the guy getting so bad?

Well, actually, the people who notice it, the people who care about kerning or keming or serifs or whatever… it’s not because of us that it’s going wrong.

It’s all the people who don’t notice it.

For thousands of years, typing was something you did with your hands. If you were a writer, you were also the person who put the words on paper.

It was only in the last few centuries that typeface was a profession, reserved for people with a printing press, or a set of Letraset frosted letters or even a high-end Mac with the right software.

And so, in this specialty, principles have developed. There was actually a difference between professional and amateur composition. There was style, craftsmanship, and insight worth paying for. There were magazines and lectures on what looked good and fair, professional and forward thinking.

Of course, social media has changed that. Memes and the rest, built on a fragile foundation of Comic Sans and Arial and Impact. All that is practical. And then what was practical became popular, and what was popular became the new normal.

And it always is. When the public gets tools, they use them, regardless of the rules that might have existed before.

But there is always a desire for craftsmanship, and people, especially those over 30, are eager to judge a book, not by its cover but by its type. Even if they don’t know why.

There will be a new set of standards for the type, just as the quality of each folk innovation has improved over time.


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