Friday, 15 January 2010

Might be time to get out of bed?

I was just reading an article about the font choice for the new logo being used by the french agency in charge of cutting down online piracy, Hadopi (with some not exactly popular techniques). The big drama comes from the fact that the font used in this new logo is ironically stolen itself. It turns out that the font used, Bienvenue is an exclusive corporate typeface belonging to France Télécom, so in an embarrassing u-turn they have now changed the font to a hastily bought FS Lola and Bliss. It really makes you think about intellectual property copyright, it's one of those things that is hard to protect, like an idea- it's not an object or design yet its just a wispy thought with no substance, hard to prove its yours. ANYWAY the thing I was actually going to write about was something that the above article mentioned in its intro

(which by the way you can read at if you s
o desire)

was the use of Papyrus by James Cameron in his blockbuster Avatar, probably the second most hated font after Comic sans and most discussed type crime on the Internet after Ikea switching to Verdana. When I went to see the film I must admit when the subtitles came up
the thought 'urgh papyrus really?!' popped into my head but then it faded away into thoughts filled with 3D blue people and floating mountains.

To be honest I can see why it was used, I know it gives me (cheesy) feelings of ancient Egypt, maybe its the name Papyrus? So it invokes an image of mystical worlds, which is Pandora in a nutshell. But you would have thought that with $300 million budget you would want to spend some of that an amazing custom designed typeface? I know this little issue will only effect a small proportion of the people who watched the film but it is fairly irritating.. haha.. However I guess it does show the importance of a good typeface, this one has tainted a pretty good film for much of the design community, which can be pretty snobby at times :) I think that's what fascinates me about typography, there is more to it than decorative letters. Typography isn't just a way of writing words but contains more subtle elements that fill in the gaps and can inspire a more subconscious response to what the words are saying. This made me laugh...

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