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Subject: Re: Old-style numbers
From: "Hrant H. Papazian" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 16 Feb 1998 10:18:13 -0800
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Francois H. Villebrod wrote:
> Here again, it is not pure chance that most typefaces provide tall
> digits as a first option. It's because they are best at the
> communication job.

Francois H. Villebrod also wrote:
> If great designers made their standard fonts with lining digits,
> it's for no other reason than their own profound experience.

You'll add "negative attitude" to the list of my character flaws,
but here it goes (-:

No one said anything about "pure chance". I think that mass
behavior is very often simply a result of irrationality.

I can see how a "great designer" won't always have total
control over the character set of her typeface. Blind
reliance on precedent and fear of non-conformity are
some of the great "mass-character-flaws" of society; things
that [unfortunately] make product marketing feasible.
These flaws would engender: a typehouse having protocols
concerning numerals that designers tend/have to follow; the
widespread use of second-rate fonts like Times and Helvetica;
school kids stabbing each other over a Tamaguchi (which I own
and [used to] enjoy); etc.

hrant h papazian

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