Typographic disasters

One problem about having such an abiding interest in type and editing is that even when you take the man out of proof-reading, you can never take the proof-reader out of the man.

You end up spotting typos and/or bad typography everywhere. Here’s one I spotted in Redmond, WA.

I’m going to leave kerning criticism out of this – it’s not pretty but it is readable. I’ll even give Frederick’s Appliance World a pass on the horrible “W”s and “M”s – they’re always a problem for any condensed typeface, which you want to use to get as much information on signage like this.

But surely Frederick could have sprung for just one more “F”? Then we’d have 30% OFF! If cash was short, it’s the work of a moment just to trim the bottom cross-bar off the “E”. Hey, Presto! An “F”!

Using a “$” in place of an “S” is tacky but expected.

The real typographic crime is the word “CALL”, with two inverted “T”s instead of “L”s.

Call me a type snob if you like, but I pass this sign a lot – and it’s like someone scratching their nails down a blackboard.

Guess where I won’t be shopping for an appliance?

Signing OFE for now,


P.S. The offending letters are two “T”s and an “”F”. TTF is of course the file extension for TrueType font files… Spooky, eh?


2 thoughts on “Typographic disasters

  1. ixceix

    That was hilarious. I have to admit, I didn’t even catch the upside down TT until after you pointed it out. Which reminds me…A fienrd rcnteley snet me a msgaese sohiwng how it’s psblosie to raed sracmbeld wrods so lnog as the fsrit and lsat ltretes are in thier rghit psitonios. Tihs is bcuseae radineg ivlonves wrod rgcoentioin and ctxonet.Hovewer tihs efceft is at laest prtaly rliaent on the coiche of wrdos and dtrsitibuoin of ltertes. For empxale, how esialy can you raed the fllownoig sntnecee:’gldnraiee aattiinpecs mieduuttls ciinnnaotg eeoornrus ampttte

  2. Bill Hill

    I’m afraid the mssage your friend sent is a hoax. I first saw it years ago, it spread like wildfire on the Web.I mean, yes, you can read it if it’s not too garbled. But it’s far, far slower than normal reading because you have to think about each word.The last line looks like some kind of mutant Welsh…


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