Inspired by a previous article about Helvetica, Slate asked a bunch of authors about their favorite fonts. Andrew Vachss uses Courier? Fascinating. I stick with Times New Roman when I fire up a word processor because I’m just too lazy to change the default, but for things web, I’ve pretty much stuck with Verdana, Tahoma or Trebuchet MS. Yeah, I know — so 2002.
With the cover art for Eponymous 4, I use the fonts that come with Microsoft Windows, particularly the system fonts used in software interfaces. Chalk that up to laziness as well, but I like the idea of putting system fonts in another context.
Restraint employs Lucida Console, which is the font used for the Blue Screen of Death, while Imprint uses Lucida Sans Unicode. I believe Lucida Sans Unicode is the default font when you launch Notepad. A Ghost in My Shadow features 20th Century (Tw Cen MT), while Revulsion makes do with Century Gothic. I think the only non-Microsoft font I use with any regularity is Friz Quadrata, most famously featured as the typeface on Law & Order.
I’m particularly fascinated by the typeface used in the New York City subway system. According to this debate, Helvetica is used for the more recent signs, but a variation of Akzidenz-Grotesk named Standard Medium was used in the ’60s and ’70s. (Link actually points to Standard.)
When I was a kid — had to be when I was around 4 or 5 years old — I was endlessly fascinated by street signs. Back then, the way color conveyed message spoke to me somehow, and I have a strange fondness for the typeface of highway signs. There is no actual typeface for highway signs, just a a set of federally-mandated specifications. Blue Highway is often cited as the computer font of choice to emulate a highway sign, but back in 2004, the federal government sanctioned ClearviewHwy as an official alternative.
I’m no typegeek by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m sure if other things didn’t distract me, I could very well have become one.