Is your font racist? Or is it shagging a dog?

Two interesting typeface stories have pricked up my ears this week:

Is your font racist?

Alongside the image was the legend STIR FRY KITS, in a cliche fake-brushstroke “oriental” typeface that reflexively causes many Asians to cringe. For good measure, FreshDirect also offered side dishes of DUMPLINGS, printed in a different variation of the same font.

A tall claim, but nowhere near the revelation in the troll bait titled story in which Martha Gill overlooks filial responsibility to remind us all that her relative and the creator of Gill Sans fell fast from grace in the 80s.

How Comic Sans got useful

he invented the typeface Gill Sans. It’s a sans-serif font and a British font – indeed, it would be hard to find a more British font. Its clean lines permeate the railways, the BBC, Penguin Books and the Church of England, and it has meshed itself with the establishment so deeply that it was a surprise to everyone to discover, in the late ’80s, that its inventor once shagged his dog.

Drawing a veil over that unpleasantness, now would be a good time to tell you about my favourite glyph from Gill Sans, which is the lower case t.


Isn’t it beautiful?

I particularly like the sneaky right angled triangle that is the upper left of the letter, and I always look out for it when I see Gill Sans in the wild.

Do, please, use the comments to post your favourite glyphs and why!