Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I shot the serif

is probably a title someone has used for a blog post before, but whatever. So, every once in a while I hear someone say they can't read something printed in a sans serif font, and I'm like, "Why not?" If anything, a sans serif font is easier to look at than a serif-ful one. Below is my go-to example of sans serif greatness, and henceforth this will be my go-to blog post whenever someone complains about sans serif. The poem is of course by John Ashbery, scanned straight out of the 1977 Ecco Press edition of Rivers and Mountains with the cover drawing by Trevor Winkfield, which I also scanned. I enjoy having a scanner.


  1. I think it works fine for poems, which tend to be short and are not meant for speed reading. That is a lovely page and cover. (I really like Trevor Winkfield.)

    The usual caution about readability applies mostly to san serif in longer texts where readers tend to go more quickly and read for longer stretches, filling in connections very quickly based on word/letter general shapes as much as actual visual apprehension of each letter. Serifs help with that, supposedly. There's some science on this somewhere...but I forget where I read about it. Maybe one of the typography books I have.

    Anyway now the internet is mostly in sanserif so people are more used to reading it in longer situations.

    Hi. :)

  2. Hi Shanna:) That makes sense. I do like it less with prose.