Georgia on My Mind

28 Nov

Love love love!

source

When I was attending San Francisco State University (working towards obtaining my certificate in Technical and Professional Writing), I took a class on desktop publishing, where I learned the basics of Adobe InDesign. One of the first things we did in the class was to watch a movie called “Helvetica.” It is a documentary about “typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.” If you haven’t seen this movie, Netflix it immediately. The movie travels across the globe, talking with different typeface designers about their feelings towards the typeface Helvetica. Believe it or not, it is a very controversial subject in the design realm, and it’s absolutely fascinating.

I had never in my life given one iota of thought to typography or who was in the business of designing typefaces. To me, typefaces simply existed. They were in the computer and were there and that was all. I had no idea that they were actively designed, with immense thought given to a letter’s width, weight, or kerning (spacing) between letters. After watching the movie, I began to notice all the typefaces around me and how different they were. It was mind-blowing. (Wow, I’m a huge nerd…)

Soon after we viewed the movie, the professor of the class had us research a typeface and then design a poster for it. I looked at the list, and randomly chose the typeface Georgia. While I realize this is going to sound overblown and ridiculous, it was a decision that changed my life forever.

Georgia is a serif typeface that is relatively new. It was designed in 1993 and was apparently named after a tabloid headline that was titled, “Alien Heads Found in Georgia.” It was first available in 1996. It is similar to Times New Roman, the default typeface for Microsoft Word but has a few subtle differences (which I won’t bore you with here). I find it infinitely more appealing that Times New Roman, which I loathe, perhaps because I was forced to type numerous papers using it for 5 years in college. Or, perhaps it appeals to me because, according to Microsoft, “Georgia is a typeface resonant with typographic personality. Even at small sizes the face exudes a sense of friendliness; a feeling of intimacy many would argue has been eroded from Times New Roman through overuse” (source).

While it is unlikely I could pinpoint exactly why I am attracted to the typeface, I am. I suppose it is inexplicable. After I designed my poster featuring Georgia, every single Word document I have created since has used the typeface. Apparently in early 2009, the typeface had a revival of sorts and was prominently used across the Web on various websites (source). I love spotting Georgia the typeface in every day life; it has popped up on pizza boxes, notebooks, road signs, and many other random places.

I suppose that sometimes, it’s the small things in life that bring us happiness.

(If you are wondering why this post or my blog in general does not make use of the Georgia typeface, it is because the themes used on WordPress generally limit you to a specific typeface, or else you know I would always use it!)

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3 Responses to “Georgia on My Mind”

  1. Leila Gough November 28, 2010 at 4:48 PM #

    you are not a nerd… you just care about design…. 🙂

  2. amber November 28, 2010 at 5:21 PM #

    HA! you read my mind – I was about to ask “why not use it here?”. Great post. I loved this. I remember taking a font class from Mariano. I can easily see how it changed your life. It’s incredibly intriguing!

  3. The Suze November 29, 2010 at 6:24 PM #

    It’s all about choosing that just right font, and you’ve chosen a winner.

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