Published during: March 2012

Unfortunate lookalikes

One of my great pet peeves with Arial is the relationship between ‘r’ and ‘n’ when set next to each other. If one compares rn and m, they’re nearly identical. The kerning is off, and the letters designed too similarly.

My mind glitches every time I see them in writing – particularly when the alternative is nonsensical or bizarrely out of place, as in the common abbreviation of postmodern as ‘pomo’, which has the unfortunate lookalike of ‘porno’ in Arial. Certainly not the sort of mistake one wishes one’s readers to make.

Typography matters.

A Plea for Open Data

One of my current side projects involves some database work for a client in an academic context. There is an enormous trove of data being collected by the project, but the local administrators refuse to publish the data on the internet themselves. This despite the fact that it’s already being published to their academic intranet. This despite the fact that they’re willing (with some persuasion) to pay an outside contractor to develop a means of displaying the data for all the public to use.

I’m not sure what’s driving this sort of recalcitrant refusal to share the data, but I can’t see there being any good reason. Read on, intrepid explorer →