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December 2018 M T W T F S S « Jan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
What do sophisticated, neutral, and unsophisticated typefaces from different writing systems look like?
This is not the most sophisticated of answers; but one bugbear of all type designers outside of the Latin script (and Cyrillic, thanks to Peter the Great) is recent font kiddies slavishly copying the design of Latin fonts. Particularly serifs. Type designers in other scripts hate serifs. Serifs are a Latin thing; Peter the Great got them into Cyrillic, but they don’t belong anywhere else, and they look horrible when they do show up. As typographers often decry. Font kiddies.
I bought a coffee table book on the history of Arabic typography, and was rather puzzled to find the author thinking Arabic serifs were actually a good thing. Until I realised the author was in fact such a font kiddie.
Type designers also loathe Old English (i.e. Heavy Metal) fonts in other scripts. I’m not as sophisticated; I recently saw Chinese written in Old English style, and I rather liked it. But then, I can’t read Chinese.
But then again, it was quite elegant in its rendering of strokes. It wasn’t this version of Katakana (It’s a katakana font (named “ゴウラ”) designed to…):
… Yeah. I think the scholarly term is “font kiddies”.