A lot has been written about the ‘prolonged demise’ of Yahoo, which is still puttering along, despite its purchase by Verizon Media in 2017. The internet company has suffered a tumultuous and tiring 25-year identity crisis. This was perhaps most famously crystalized in the leaked “Peanut Butter Manifesto,”an internal memo from 2006 that…
Dear Google, Apple, Adobe and Microsoft,
You may not know me, but I was created with great care and purpose. Every image, hue and letter. I am special. I have meaning.
I live in hearts and minds, in words and actions, in websites and ad campaigns and brochures. But frequently, I live in Word and PPT and Outlook.
I am a brand. It doesn’t matter which one. I speak for all brands today.
We are tired of being forgotten. We are sick of being forced into Arial. So much of our potential goes unrealized.
Many of us were designed with a considerable and well-considered kit of parts, yet we appear in written word more than any other element, asset or graphic. Typography is often the singular tool we have for communicating who we are.
But in a world dominated by Microsoft Office, we are stripped of even this most basic form of self-expression.
I write you today with a simple request. Let me be myself. Stop forcing me into fonts that hold no meaning for me or anyone else.
With the OpenType Font Variations collaboration kicked off , it seemed like a big step in the right direction. And in some ways, it has been. OpenType fonts can be given extra flourishes, allowing them to be “dressed up” or more “casual.” However, more is needed. To this day, the list of typefaces standardized across software platforms is relatively short and relatively dull.
Variable fonts are not enough. My wish is that a new alliance of software providers brings forth a big, beautiful, standardized collection of fonts that are accessible to all users in all platforms – from web and operation system, to professional design apps and of course, that suite of all suites, Office.
Imagine this. More people using more of your products more often. And actually enjoying it. That could happen. But it’s up to you. All of you.
If you take away nothing else from my letter, please remember this: fonts matter.
Stop forcing blandness on the world.
About the author
Hannah Foltz is a Senior Strategist at DeSantis Breindel. When she isn’t stuck on the L train, she is diving into research and helping develop positioning and messaging platforms for B2B companies.