Funny Font Annecdote and Lesson

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Adrienne Boswell, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. I inherited a website from my boss, who has Palantino on her computer.

    I don't have Palantino on my computer at work, or my computer at home.
    My default font is Comic Sans, so when I started working on the site, I
    saw the headings appeared Comic Sans, and that is how I wrote the
    headings in the new stylesheet {font-family: "Comic Sans", arial,
    helvetica, sans-serif}.

    When I presented this to my boss, she screamed "But you KNOW all of our
    headings are in Palantino!" I said, I didn't know that, because all I
    ever saw was my default font. I explained that since I didn't have that
    font, and since there was no fallback font, I saw my default.

    Of course, now it's {font-family: "Palatino Linotype", "Times New
    Roman", Times, serif;}. I still only see Times New Roman, and
    personally, I liked it better with Comic Sans.

    So, the lesson here is to ALWAYS include a fallback and the appropriate
    generic font.

    --
    Adrienne Boswell at Home
    Arbpen Web Site Design Services
    http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info
    Please respond to the group so others can share
    Adrienne Boswell, Jan 7, 2008
    #1
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  2. Adrienne Boswell wrote:
    > I inherited a website from my boss, who has Palantino on her computer.
    >
    > I don't have Palantino on my computer at work, or my computer at home.
    > My default font is Comic Sans, so when I started working on the site, I
    > saw the headings appeared Comic Sans, and that is how I wrote the
    > headings in the new stylesheet {font-family: "Comic Sans", arial,
    > helvetica, sans-serif}.
    >
    > When I presented this to my boss, she screamed "But you KNOW all of our
    > headings are in Palantino!" I said, I didn't know that, because all I
    > ever saw was my default font. I explained that since I didn't have that
    > font, and since there was no fallback font, I saw my default.
    >
    > Of course, now it's {font-family: "Palatino Linotype", "Times New
    > Roman", Times, serif;}. I still only see Times New Roman, and
    > personally, I liked it better with Comic Sans.
    >
    > So, the lesson here is to ALWAYS include a fallback and the appropriate
    > generic font.


    I learned a similar lesson years ago when I was editing a newsletter and
    someone submitted an ad as a Word document with a collection of embedded
    text boxes used for positioning. I thought the choice of fonts and the
    layout were really weird but I dutifully converted the document to PDF
    format and from there into a graphics file that I cropped and included
    in the newsletter, before realizing that the funny fonts and layout
    weren't intentional. The advertiser had been expressing his creativity
    by tinkering with fancy fonts and didn't realize that (a) not everyone
    has them and (b) they don't convey with the Word document.

    From that point on whenever I'd receive copy in Word format I'd convert
    it to PDF and send it back with the question, "Is this OK?" I also
    learned to check PDFs submitted to me to make sure the fonts were embedded.
    Harlan Messinger, Jan 7, 2008
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Scripsit Adrienne Boswell:

    > I inherited a website from my boss, who has Palantino on her computer.


    I bet you mean "Palatino Linotype" (which is what you use later in your
    message). Most of the readers here are humans, so it's not a big issue,
    but those stupid computers don't really get these things. Actually, it
    can be worse: some programs interpret misspelled font names according to
    what they think the web page author meant, some don't.

    > My default font is Comic Sans,


    Good for you for some investigation purposes, since you'll immediately
    see that some page is not setting font family or, in rare cases, setting
    it to Comic Sans, for some odd reason. It's not that good for actual
    browsing, especially if you are oriented towards actually reading texts
    on web pages.

    > Of course, now it's {font-family: "Palatino Linotype", "Times New
    > Roman", Times, serif;}. I still only see Times New Roman, and
    > personally, I liked it better with Comic Sans.


    So you are suggesting that browsers primarily display your page using
    Palatino Linotype but you haven't actually checked how they look like
    when presented that way?

    Including Times after Times New Roman sounds pointless. Hands up, has
    someone ever seen a system _with_ Times but _without_ Times New Roman? A
    system without either of them is imaginable, so the serif fallback makes
    sense, _assuming_ that you have some reasonable reason for preferring a
    serif font even against the user's choice of basic font.

    Palatino Linotype is not very close to Times New Roman. Book Antiqua
    would be a closer substitute, I think, and so would Georgia, if you
    accept its lowercase ("old-style") digits. Times New Roman is more
    condensed and looks smaller. I think the odds are that a system's
    default serif font is _either_ Times New Roman _or_ something more
    similar to Palatino Linotype than TNR is.

    So I'd say that { font-family: "Palatino Linotype", serif; } is enough.

    > So, the lesson here is to ALWAYS include a fallback and the
    > appropriate generic font.


    Is it? How many users actually select some _strange_ font as their
    browser's default font? How many of them actually _want_ to see text in
    that font when pages don't specify their own font?

    --
    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jan 7, 2008
    #3
  4. Adrienne Boswell

    Jeff Guest

    Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > Scripsit Adrienne Boswell:
    >
    >> I inherited a website from my boss, who has Palantino on her computer.

    >

    <snip>
    >
    > So you are suggesting that browsers primarily display your page using
    > Palatino Linotype but you haven't actually checked how they look like
    > when presented that way?


    I think we all get a bit jaded, particularly when working with someone
    else's design! This hasn't happened to you?

    >
    > Including Times after Times New Roman sounds pointless. Hands up, has
    > someone ever seen a system _with_ Times but _without_ Times New Roman? A
    > system without either of them is imaginable, so the serif fallback makes
    > sense, _assuming_ that you have some reasonable reason for preferring a
    > serif font even against the user's choice of basic font.
    >
    > Palatino Linotype is not very close to Times New Roman. Book Antiqua
    > would be a closer substitute, I think, and so would Georgia, if you
    > accept its lowercase ("old-style") digits. Times New Roman is more
    > condensed and looks smaller. I think the odds are that a system's
    > default serif font is _either_ Times New Roman _or_ something more
    > similar to Palatino Linotype than TNR is.


    I'm getting a little tired of using Verdana and Times. What's your
    take on expanding the font list to something like shown here:

    <URL: http://www.ampsoft.net/webdesign-l/WindowsMacFonts.html />

    Oh, note that there is not ordinarily a Palatino Linotype on the Mac
    but Palatino.

    Jeff


    >
    > So I'd say that { font-family: "Palatino Linotype", serif; } is enough.
    >
    >> So, the lesson here is to ALWAYS include a fallback and the
    >> appropriate generic font.

    >
    > Is it? How many users actually select some _strange_ font as their
    > browser's default font? How many of them actually _want_ to see text in
    > that font when pages don't specify their own font?
    >
    Jeff, Jan 7, 2008
    #4
  5. Adrienne Boswell

    Bergamot Guest

    Adrienne Boswell wrote:
    >
    > My default font is Comic Sans


    I don't think you should have admitted this, at least not in this group.
    ;)

    --
    Berg
    Bergamot, Jan 7, 2008
    #5
  6. Adrienne Boswell

    Neredbojias Guest

    Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Mon, 07 Jan 2008 16:11:51 GMT
    Adrienne Boswell scribed:

    > I inherited a website from my boss, who has Palantino on her computer.
    >
    > I don't have Palantino on my computer at work, or my computer at home.
    > My default font is Comic Sans, so when I started working on the site, I
    > saw the headings appeared Comic Sans, and that is how I wrote the
    > headings in the new stylesheet {font-family: "Comic Sans", arial,
    > helvetica, sans-serif}.
    >
    > When I presented this to my boss, she screamed "But you KNOW all of our
    > headings are in Palantino!"


    Ah yes, now I see your problem. Well, that's what you get when you put
    females in positions of authority. I'd quit and go work for a man who will
    probably allow you to screw up a bit if you flirt in just the right manner.

    > I said, I didn't know that, because all I
    > ever saw was my default font. I explained that since I didn't have that
    > font, and since there was no fallback font, I saw my default.
    >
    > Of course, now it's {font-family: "Palatino Linotype", "Times New
    > Roman", Times, serif;}. I still only see Times New Roman, and
    > personally, I liked it better with Comic Sans.
    >
    > So, the lesson here is to ALWAYS include a fallback and the appropriate
    > generic font.


    <yawn> So what else is new?

    --
    Neredbojias
    Riches are their own reward.
    Neredbojias, Jan 7, 2008
    #6
  7. Adrienne Boswell

    dorayme Guest

    In article <U1tgj.277534$>,
    "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote:

    > Most of the readers here are humans, so

    ....

    I saw this. Nothing escapes my antennae.

    --
    dorayme
    dorayme, Jan 7, 2008
    #7
  8. Adrienne Boswell

    dorayme Guest

    In article <Xns9A1E7FAEFBE95nanopandaneredbojias@85.214.90.236>,
    Neredbojias <> wrote:

    > Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Mon, 07 Jan 2008 16:11:51 GMT
    > Adrienne Boswell scribed:
    >
    > > I inherited a website ...
    > >

    >
    > Ah yes, now I see your problem. Well, that's what you get when you put
    > females in positions of authority. I'd quit and go work for a man who will
    > probably allow you to screw up a bit if you flirt in just the right manner.
    >

    Boji, is there a lake near you?
    >>


    > > So, the lesson here is to ALWAYS include a fallback and the appropriate
    > > generic font.

    >
    > <yawn> So what else is new?


    Boji, did I ask you before: Is there a lake near you? Maybe I
    forgot to say, why don't you go and jump into it.

    --
    dorayme
    dorayme, Jan 7, 2008
    #8
  9. Gazing into my crystal ball I observed Bergamot <> writing
    in news::

    > Adrienne Boswell wrote:
    >>
    >> My default font is Comic Sans

    >
    > I don't think you should have admitted this, at least not in this group.
    > ;)
    >


    Actually, it's a nice font for browsing. IIRC, it was someone here who
    suggested it many, many moons ago.

    --
    Adrienne Boswell at Home
    Arbpen Web Site Design Services
    http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info
    Please respond to the group so others can share
    Adrienne Boswell, Jan 9, 2008
    #9
  10. On 2008-01-07 18:10:33 +0100, "Jukka K. Korpela" <> said:

    > [ ... ]


    > Including Times after Times New Roman sounds pointless. Hands up, has
    > someone ever seen a system _with_ Times but _without_ Times New Roman?
    > ...


    Many millions of people could raise their hands if they saw your
    question. Anyone who used the MacOS before System 7 will have worked on
    a system with Times but without Times New Roman.


    --
    athel
    Athel Cornish-Bowden, Jan 9, 2008
    #10
  11. Adrienne Boswell

    Bergamot Guest

    Adrienne Boswell wrote:
    >>>
    >>> My default font is Comic Sans

    >
    > it's a nice font for browsing.


    "Nice" is pretty subjective. Every time I saw Comic Sans on a web page
    by brain screamed

    CHEESY AMATEUR FRONTPAGE TEMPLATE!!

    Rather than go insane or blind from looking at Comic Sans, I chose to
    expunge it from my system. The web is a nicer place without it.

    :)

    --
    Berg
    Bergamot, Jan 9, 2008
    #11
  12. Adrienne Boswell

    Neredbojias Guest

    Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Wed, 09 Jan 2008 18:42:23 GMT
    Bergamot scribed:

    > Adrienne Boswell wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>> My default font is Comic Sans

    >>
    >> it's a nice font for browsing.

    >
    > "Nice" is pretty subjective. Every time I saw Comic Sans on a web page
    > by brain screamed
    >
    > CHEESY AMATEUR FRONTPAGE TEMPLATE!!
    >
    > Rather than go insane or blind from looking at Comic Sans, I chose to
    > expunge it from my system. The web is a nicer place without it.
    >
    >:)


    Just because there is something wrong with your brain is no reason to knock
    a very fine, readable font, Froggy. My entire home page used to be in
    Comic Sans MS and it was very attractive and easy to peruse. Furthermore,
    it is the definitive font for drunks and addicts. For them, the physical
    law of negative interference renders it considerably more readable than any
    other font.

    --
    Neredbojias
    Riches are their own reward.
    Neredbojias, Jan 9, 2008
    #12
  13. On Jan 7, 11:11 am, Adrienne Boswell <> wrote:
    > I inherited a website from my boss, who has Palantino on her computer.
    > I don't have Palantino on my computer at work, or my computer at home.
    > My default font is Comic Sans, so when I started working on the site, I
    > saw the headings appeared Comic Sans, and that is how I wrote the
    > headings in the new stylesheet {font-family: "Comic Sans", arial,
    > helvetica, sans-serif}.


    I read this and can only think that this is something that could have
    EASILY been avoided.

    You knew you had a default font of comic sans. When the heading
    appeared in comic sans that should have triggered something in your
    head that said "hmmm... how interesting they choose the same font for
    the heading that I had as my default. And what a weird choice for a
    company font."

    At that point you should have confronted her and asked about the
    fonts. You committed one of the biggest sins of developers. You
    assumed something.

    Oh, this is not a slam at you at all. It is just an observation. And
    even I have made wrong assumptions once or twice (this week)
    Travis Newbury, Jan 10, 2008
    #13
  14. Gazing into my crystal ball I observed Travis Newbury
    <> writing in news:09dfcbde-873e-4803-9a98-
    :

    > On Jan 7, 11:11 am, Adrienne Boswell <> wrote:
    >> I inherited a website from my boss, who has Palantino on her

    computer.
    >> I don't have Palantino on my computer at work, or my computer at

    home.
    >> My default font is Comic Sans, so when I started working on the site,

    I
    >> saw the headings appeared Comic Sans, and that is how I wrote the
    >> headings in the new stylesheet {font-family: "Comic Sans", arial,
    >> helvetica, sans-serif}.

    >
    > I read this and can only think that this is something that could have
    > EASILY been avoided.
    >
    > You knew you had a default font of comic sans. When the heading
    > appeared in comic sans that should have triggered something in your
    > head that said "hmmm... how interesting they choose the same font for
    > the heading that I had as my default. And what a weird choice for a
    > company font."
    >
    > At that point you should have confronted her and asked about the
    > fonts. You committed one of the biggest sins of developers. You
    > assumed something.
    >
    > Oh, this is not a slam at you at all. It is just an observation. And
    > even I have made wrong assumptions once or twice (this week)
    >


    Normally, I would agree with you. However, The Character and Ethics
    Project is a local organization that works with the Glendale School
    District - one of their biggest fund raisers is the annual calendar, and
    the images for the calendar are drawn by local Glendale school children
    - all in grades K through 6. So, Comic Sans would have been
    appropriate, if not preferred.
    [http://ethicsproject.org/beta/respect.php] is one of the words of the
    month (calendar has dummy values right now).

    Now, if it were ABC Widget Corporation, I would have wondered, and
    asked, if not suggested a more "mature" font.


    --
    Adrienne Boswell at Home
    Arbpen Web Site Design Services
    http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info
    Please respond to the group so others can share
    Adrienne Boswell, Jan 11, 2008
    #14
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