Font Ills

I’ve seen a lot of “internet memes” and other bits of humor that involve showing how punctuation or the lack thereof can change the meaning of sentences. Two classics that come to mind are the book “Eats Shoots and Leaves” and the lifesaving punctuation in “let’s eat, Grandma.” But what I haven’t seen is an equal outpouring against what I consider to be one of the most egregious sins of modern typography.

So let me just say now, can’t we just banish any font in which the lowercase “L” and the uppercase “i” cannot be told apart.

I’m pretty sure we could even automate the process. Wouldn’t it be a public service to write a program which would hunt through your system, find every installed font, render those two characters and if the results are not at least, say, 15% different, delete the font.

Not only have I seen no sign of anyone doing this important work, but there’s actually a documentary about people’s love for Helvetica. People actually love a font that renders two completely different letters with identical glyphs.

Well, I’ve got a message that sums up my opinion if not actually God’s: all you “Helvetica” fans can just go to hell.

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