Typographic humor

Pro­fes­sional ty­pog­ra­phers, like copy ed­i­tors and gram­mar­i­ans, some­times have a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing hu­mor­less nit­pick­ers. Cer­tainly, the na­ture of the job re­quires some nits to be picked.

But hu­mor­less? On the con­trary—the more you’ve trained your eye for ty­pog­ra­phy, the more acutely you de­tect the con­tin­ual butch­ery of our writ­ten lan­guage. For ty­pog­ra­phers, to look away would amount to dere­lic­tion of duty. But to con­stantly take um­brage would put us into a state of moral paral­y­sis. There­fore, hu­mor is nec­es­sary for survival.

  1. The LTypI photo col­lec­tion
    LTypI stands for “Lack of Ty­po­graphic Imag­i­na­tion”. This site col­lects in­stances where de­sign­ers have cho­sen fonts that match the text in a per­haps too ob­vi­ous way. I’m a con­trib­u­tor, of course.

  2. 2,002 Hon­est Fonts
    I re­turn to this site every year or so. With­out fail, I lit­er­ally cry from laugh­ing so hard. How is this pos­si­ble? I can only con­clude that, like “Flash Gor­don” by Queen, this is a per­fect work of art.

  3. Fuck Yeah Type­face De­sign
    I hon­estly have no idea who runs this. But it punc­tures ty­po­graphic pre­ten­tions with glee—and, as the name sig­nals, some vul­gar­ity. My fa­vorite, how­ever, is suit­able for all ages. Be­ware: some very in­side-base­ball hu­mor here. Fur­ther be­ware: if you get all these jokes, you have reached peak ty­pog­ra­phy nerd.

  4. Ty­pog­ra­phy 2020: a spe­cial lis­ti­cle for Amer­ica and Ty­pog­ra­phy 2024: for Amer­ica! for Amer­ica’s best
    My own con­tri­bu­tions to this bur­geon­ing genre.

by the way
  • Not funny: font puns (“I shot the serif”, etc.), font-hu­mor lis­ti­cles (with im­ages that were cir­cu­lat­ing on AOL in 1994), and Comic Sans (in par­tic­u­lar, any Mc­Sweeney’s piece about Comic Sans). If you’re tempted to send these to me—please don’t.

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