Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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284 words

If you’ve read this site for a while or ever seen it on a reasonably new Mac, you’ll be aware that I really like the Zapfino typeface. Now that Zapfino has been around for a few years, it starts being heavily abused and there’s no trip to the supermarket without discovering yet another crappy tisane, seasonal crap or diet product using Zapfino for its name to convey that its ‘classy’, fragile and light.

Of course, with the limited power of web browsers, the experience of Zapfino you get here isn’t any better, but at least I’m not ‘classy’, fragile or light but rather grumpy and still liking the typeface’s looks for most of my page titles. However, this is very far from exploiting the full beauty of the typeface by using all the alternate glyphs and ligatures in there (actually you will see the ligatures if you’re using Opera or iCab). Of course using them properly would be a lot of effort so it’s not clear whether I’d go all that way for the small audience capable of seeing it.

So when flipping through a magazine I was surprised to see letters which looked like Zapfino but then again didn’t.

Newspaper snippet with text 'Luxus ist ein Gefühl'

I guess I’m just so used to to everybody just using Zapfino’s ‘default’ glyphs that these weren’t immediately familiar. What’s interesting, though, is that some of the glyphs used there don’t seem to be available in the Zapfino version that comes with Mac OS X (the x for example). I also thought that the text as it is set there doesn’t look like it exploits the full potential of Zapfino but rather looks a bit tacky.

[More Zapfino findings]Zapfino flickr group]

May 6, 2006, 1:30

Tagged as zapfino.


Comment by Jacob Rus: User icon

Well the main problems with the example in that image are that the glyph variants weren’t selected particularly well, and several of the letters are kerned quite poorly. As for glyph variants, as far as I can tell the ‘x’ is the only one shown which is not inluded in the OX X version of Zapfino.

January 17, 2008, 3:05

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