The antisocial event of the season
Wednesday, 1. November 2006
The dreaded 416

Where: on a TTC subway backlit.

What. The. Hell. Did. You. Do. To. That. Lowercase. L? Did you make it taller? I DIE.

Apparently itFOOTs the law to have a licence for your dog, which I don’t understand. Foot and inch marks are not apostrophes and quotation marks! Here is a little rhyme to help you remember:

Straight up and down you’re in foot mark town!
A contraction you say? Use apostrophes every day!
You want to say “Hi!” to a chum or a neighbour?
Use inch marks and everyone will think you’re an idiot!

As if that wasn’t enough, here we see the first of one million examples of the dreaded 4 1 6. The number one ALWAYS needs some kerning attention. KERN! OH GOD KERN IT.

EDIT: While you’re at it, kern in all those sinful periods!

... Comment


I think the misspelling of "license" in HUGE, publicly-displayed type is much worse than any of the kerning issues or misused punctuation marks.

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licence is actually correct. license is the procedure, licence is the card itself. the misuse of license to mean licence is an american variation.

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regarding the L and the footostrophe: maybe it's a typeface that just looks that way? it would still be kind of wrong, but in a totally different category of mistake than being ignorant of the meanings of typographical symbols and hitting a completely wrong key on your keyboard. actually, the kerning problems here are so trivial that they should also be fixed in the typeface.

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No, the typeface is Impact, which does have real quote marks. Try it in Word.

It's worth noting that many typographers distinguish between the "straight quotes" or "typewriter quotes" I'm using here, and actual foot or inch marks, which according to the Chicago Manual of Style (but not Bringhurst, I think) should be slightly sloped, like the prime or double prime marks in math. There was a big debate on Typophile ( over whether it was OK to use the Hungarian long umlaut as an inch mark. I kid you not.

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The typeface that the apostrophe is set in isn't far as I know, Impact only comes in one weight (it actually appears to be Helvetica Condensed, which has straight quotes/apostrophes). Plenty of typefaces have straight apostrophes – Univers, Trade Gothic, etc. The bigger faux-pas here seems to be the mixing of Impact for the headline and Helvetica for the body copy. Why not just use all Helvetica??


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