Fonts and your face

So, the eye glasses post led to a deluge of useful and kind advice. Please hold off, I’m still working my way through it all! I’ll build a summary soon for the similarly perplexed.

But along the way, I realized that glasses are a lot like typefaces.

  • Both are tools, but with a significant stylistic overlay. You can use the most basic font in the world to get the words across, just like $10 glasses will help you see. The style and design of each, though, has a huge impact on the way you are perceived.
  • There are experts in each, but very few.
  • Despite this, everyone has an opinion! You don’t have to be trained in typography to like or dislike a font or to have an opinion on what it ‘means’.
  • There are cheap alternatives for both fonts and for glasses. Sometimes a cheap knockoff of Helvetica is just fine, just like $10 glasses work for most people most of the time. But there are plenty of situations where the money for a bespoke solution from a trained pro is money well spent.
  • Almost every PowerPoint user needs a font lesson. Picking something other than Arial (and using it correctly) is essential. Hire a pro, get a font you love and stick with it.
  • People who are good at picking fonts and picking glasses get a lot of respect as a result.

Here are two books about fonts. There are no books, as far as I can tell, about picking glasses.