Thursday, September 28, 2006

Time to redesign the alphabet?


That alphabet. It’s been around a long time, and I, for one, have some complaints. Don’t you think it’s time for a redesign? I mean, the thing’s not exactly “fresh” anymore, is it?

This looks like two different people designed these letterforms and they weren’t talking to each other. Both the upper and lower case are quite wonderful, but as a pair? What were they thinking? The capital A has a good iconic structure: three strokes and you’re done. I like the way they lean together to form that stable triangular shape, which is reinforced by the crossbar. It’s very strong.

The lowercase a has beautiful curves, and allows for a lot of variation within the shape. It’s feminine, and extremely sexy, but sometimes the bowl causes problems ... it has so little space to fit into: half the x-height! This is inconsistent with the other letters in the aphabet and seems a bit out of place. As for that other “a”, no comment.

This is a very nice pair; whoever did this was really thinking about the relationship between the two. I like the way the capital B can have some variation in the proportions from top to bottom. Obviously designed by a man, the ball and stick of the lowercase b is simple and, appropriately, half of the cap B. Talk about male and female! The buxom, pregnant cap together with the excitable lowercase.

Too obviously a pair! This is just lazy design, imho. A curve, and a smaller curve. What’s with that? Put some effort into it!

Read on down the list.


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