Donald Knuth, Steve Jobs, and the Idiocy of Typography

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
why typography sucks Xah Talk Show 2020-10-03 Dumang Dk6 Keyboard, Idiocy of Typography, emacs, python MapThread

Trailer for documentary Helvetica , year 2007. Buy at amazon

In the documentary, first 2 minutes, you see actual movable typefaces and printing with it. extremely idiotic. then, it began to babble the typical babble about how typeface is a art form.

Typography, like photography, and grammarians writing style guides, are a foundry of idiocy, that rides on art. These are things that have little artistry, but have organized gangs chalking them up to mona lisa.

Donald Knuth, and Steve Jobs, fell for it, and are inspired by it. Typography, like calligraphy, is kinda doodle art. Shallow. Like, a stream isn't a river, but you can't say it's not a body of water, and beautiful.

for sure, monospace isn't eye candy. Note that math in 1980s are all in monospace. and US government publications. So, knuth spent 10 years yak shaving and created TeX , and Steve Jobs made desktop publishing.

when you get into the pants of typography you see heightened souls on foundry houses and designers in all seriousness like pedants deadpan on oxford comma and hackers puff about indenting style.

well, today i've been thinking, how tremendous bloat is going on with today's font. you know how much computation it takes to render a character on screen? let's go back to bitmapped font. lol. am near my sleep time.

ok. i goto bed. and here's 2 links:

The Moronicities of Typography: Hyphen, Dash, Quotation Marks, Apostrophe

The TeX Pestilence: Why TeX/LaTeX Sucks

for chinese, non-monospace is easily an eye sore. while western alphabets is most natural when non-monospaced...

i guess the western monospaced font for english alphabets is a byproduct of typewriter engineering... hum might be a interesting subject to look into.

watch this short vid to get a sense of the idiocy of typography

The Death of Helvetica and the Rise of the Bespoke Font
Published on Jul 17, 2018

btw to unstand the nature of typography and their air, you have to dive into history of printing. in short, half of it is driven by $. half of it is real craftsmanship and ingenuity and engineering. That was, when typography, was art.