Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Unexpected Presentation Zen Design fail; I was fixin' to start making a ten-minute sales pitch for my research to potential collaborators at a seminar next Friday. I had a few good ideas on how to structure the talk Presentation Zen-style, and I was going to start off fresh by using some new font combinations. After cracking open Presentation Zen Design to the section on fonts and typesetting, I was ready to carve out a new font identity for myself. Comic Sans and Tahoma before that have served me well, but surely there are other fonts which better suit my needs and profile.

As I opened up PowerPoint and started browsing the ocean of available fonts, it dawned on me that the ocean was but a shallow puddle. Of all the "basic" fonts that "everyone should have at their disposal", only a measly two - TWO - were available in my university edition of Office. Garamond and freakin' Helvetica. No Futura, Gill Sans or any of the other cool fonts.


So I checked shareware on the faculty folder to see if there was a Holy Grail of fonts waiting to be unleashed on the wide open canvases of my slides. Not a freakin' thing.

Relatively undeterred, I opened the "Help" menu under "Where in the blue hell can I find me some more goddamn fonts." Windows directed me to a few websites, some of which were offering up some fonts for free. On the other hand, the fonts they offered were 100%, grade A, guaran-damn-teed useless and butt fugly to boot.

As I went down the list of websites suggested to me by Windows, I came across some which sold all kinds of fonts - including the entire Gill family. With my last shred of optimism I selected this package for pricing information.

1,400 NOK for the Gill family of fonts.

The hell with that - Comic Sans just rose like freakin' phoenix from the ashes.


Anders said...

I know, I know. Some of those fonts should be availble at a lower cost to private persons for a limited use. And btw, 1400 is cheap for a font family, compared to what I've seen...

I do believe that you might get some of those fonts installed when you buy (graphic) software. And the Mac selecton of fonts is different then windows.

Btw, Calibra is a Helvetica style font that is design to print well on screen.

Wilhelm said...

So 1400 is cheap? Damn... I guess the university isn't too interested in venturing too far beyond Arial and Arial Black.....

Yeah; you've clued me in about the Calibra before. What other fonts does it go well with?

Anders said...

Underground Pro
Gill Sans
Johnston Sans

Anders said...

Oh, I'm such a nerd.

Btw, IKEA just switch from Futura to Verdana. Verdana is too similar to Calibra to work together.

I was pleased to find an advice in Presentation Zen Design that one should have one type with many different weight. That's the same conclusion I've some to, and I have Helvetica and Gill Sans in different weights. For presentations, I just roll with either and use weight and color to add hierarchy.

Wilhelm said...

Underground Pro sounds like a drug dealer/professional bodybuilder.

Gill Sans I don't have, re my post.

Johnston Sans is a font? I'll try.

About the Calibri/Verdana - I tried that combo and pretty much came to the same conclusion. Something was off, but I couldn't phrase it quite as cleverly as you.

So you've shelled out for the Gill family?

Anders said...

Underground Pro, Johston ITC and Gill Sans are the same fonts (more or less, like the Helvetica/ Arial thing). My nerdy joke.

I'll send you an e-mail this evening, chief.

Wilhelm said...

Cool. Lemme' know if the shelling out of samoleans was worth it

Anders said...

...mail sent.

Wilhelm said...

U da Man