Speak UpA Former Division of UnderConsideration
The Archives, August 2002 – April 2009
advertise @ underconsideration
---Click here for full archive list or browse below
Agenda: Offer a Membership to Zapf Dingbats?

A rare, one-sentence “look at this” link on Speak Up: College Humor Original Videos presents a great short on typography, with special appearances by Futura, Courier, Times New Roman, Comic Sans and, the typeface in question, Zapf Dingbats. Hilarious.

Thanks to Claudia Renzi for the link.

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON Jul.22.2008 BY Armin
Kevin’s comment is:

It's kinda funny, but I wish the personalities related more to the typefaces than just "punnies" on their names. Type jokes by people that don't understand type make me mad.... but maybe I'm just having a bad day.

On Jul.22.2008 at 04:36 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Kevin, if you consider that five years ago "people that don't understand type" really had no idea about type, there is an interesting arch of understanding that has developed where even those "punny" jokes reveal a sense of understanding well beyond the basics. While you or I or someone else may know more history about a specific typeface, it's interesting that such a mainstream thing like College Humor would produce this.

And, c'mon, the Zapf Dingbats character speaking gibberish is fucking hilarious. Drink some lemonade and go out and play frisbee, that should put you in the mood.

On Jul.22.2008 at 04:56 PM
Jeff’s comment is:

Pretty funny, although I agree with ^above–Futura being the biggest let-down. And Comic Sans ... as the hero? Come on!

But for CollegeHumor, I applaud!

On Jul.22.2008 at 05:00 PM
Thomas Jockin’s comment is:

I think this is genius!

I've already sent this to all my friends, designer and non-designer alike.

I'm of the position, anything to make type understandable to non designers is a good thing. If it's hilarious to boot, even better!

On Jul.22.2008 at 05:06 PM
Peter Whitley’s comment is:

I had a roommate once that used to love to get into arguments centered on "what is the purpose of fonts?" He worked at Microsoft as a programmer; I worked for a design studio as a studio designer. Granted, he loved to argue (he called it a "debate" but I called it "being an asshole")...and his favorite tactic was that if a typeface was necessary for reinforcing the message then the chosen word or phrase wasn't doing its job. With the inarticulation caused by endless Minutemen, canned beer and working until 4 AM I was often skewered by his rhetorical javelins.

But that was in 1846 and this is now. The fact that we have "pedestrian" humor about typefaces at all is testimony that lots of things have changed over the past decade or so.

But yeah...I also thought the riffs off the font names were groaners.

Here's my revised cast:

Helvetica: Harrison Ford (The Victim)
Cooper: earlier Burt Reynolds (The Champion)
Aachen: later Marlon Brando (The Villain)
Caslon Antique: Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf)
Belwe: Jonah Hill (Sidekick: comic relief)

On Jul.22.2008 at 05:54 PM
Gary’s comment is:

Must admit I expected the French guy to be Garamond. Comic Sans being the one to save the day was a pretty funny "You're f'n joking right?!" moment though (which I believe was probably intentional, given the high level of awareness for Comic Sans hatred and probably there to stir up over zealous typographers). Courier New was great, so was Broadway.

On Jul.22.2008 at 11:02 PM
casper’s comment is:

I thought it was funny, and interesting to find on college humor. Although, I also agree that the characters could have had more insight. I feel like comic sans could have just as easily been the villain.

And from Peter's comment above-
I used to have arguments with an old boyfriend about the practicality of design and its necessity in life. I suppose some people will just never understand.

On Jul.22.2008 at 11:08 PM
oscar’s comment is:

Rather hit and miss, but Wingdings speaking was hysterical.

On Jul.23.2008 at 01:46 AM
Alex Charchar’s comment is:

I thought it was fantastic, especially windings and i thought comic sans being the comic hero was actually pretty funny.. less predictable than it being the villain.

Yes, the personifications of the fonts were based purely on names, but really, does it matter? As Armin said in his comment, the fact that this exists outside of our little graphic design world says a lot more than the content its self. It's just a bit of fun and its nice to see non-designers making type jokes.

Comments about it not being 'right' is a little useless, aren't they? It's much like a group of physicists sitting around picking out the nitty-gritty mistakes in Star Trek. Helvetica was a font film made for us, not this. this is just for a good laugh for everyone

Ying-yang, glasses, mailbox, open mailbox.

On Jul.23.2008 at 05:06 AM
Kosal Sen’s comment is:

Great stuff! I also expected the Frenchman to be Garamond, until he kept talking. The personalities came through for most of them except Century Gothic, Futura, etc. Funny, anyways.

On Jul.23.2008 at 09:17 AM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

What makes graphic designers so hungry for affirmation that any mention of typefaces, Photoshop, or black clothing thrills them? When I saw the movie I sent the link to a couple of friends with the subject line "a good idea done badly." I was, perhaps, being too kind.

On Jul.23.2008 at 11:54 AM
marnie’s comment is:

Ah, Wingdings cracked me up. But shouldn't Rage Italic have been Italian? No?

I think people are over-thinking the Comic Sans superhero. I suspect the choice of it as the hero has way more to do with, uh, COMICS (you know, where there are superheroes?) than with making any kind of ironic statement about the quality of the font.

On Jul.23.2008 at 12:15 PM
Dale’s comment is:

The old style guys reminded me of Statler & Waldorf from The Muppets :)

I can see how Comic Sans is related to the "comic" aspect as marnie says, but it would have been a trifecta if it were in the villain position (villains are a part of comic books no?). It would have added that extra layer of meaning.

Either way, it's fantastic to see type humour becoming more mainstream.

p.s. Rage Italic should have been an angry, skinny italian with one leg shorter than the other ;)

On Jul.23.2008 at 11:55 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Pretty funny indeed. I wouldn't say better. Just different funny. It tickles the geek bone.

On Jul.28.2008 at 04:12 PM