Dear Jstor, your font sucks.

Dear Jstor,

The typeface you have chosen for the citation information on your pdf cover sheets is unforgivably awful. Its roman characters are crudely and thoughtlessly drawn by someone with no evident qualifications or other typographic experience. Though it boasts a wide-ranging character set, I doubt it is the most complete font in existence. I would urge you to consider other fine, even free options from SIL and others, such as those shown below.

The most hideous glyph in your unfortunate font is the capital J, which is used disporportionately often in the texts where you have employed it (most journals name themselves Journal of . Or, Tournal of x. I can’t distinguish them in Code2000. By the way, it is now 2009. Browsers support Unicode. Competent developers all use UTF-8. We can even embed fonts in web pages with css! Why do you torture our eyes with this heinous insult to every type designer living or dead?

The figure below shows what I find the be the most offensive characters in Code2000. Clearly the JT is far and away the most odious. The diddle on the top of the 2 makes no sense, the 9 is horribly awkwardly topheavy, the g is misshapen and glaring at me like a quadriplegic rhinoceros, and the r and f both suffer gross errors of proportion. The huge flat crossbar of the f for some reason extends beyond the elephantine serif. The ball at the end of the r and f are also apparently mutant spawn of unrelated origins. Here are several alternatives, all free opentype faces with reasonably complete character sets: Fontin, Gentium, Droid Serif, and venerable Times New Roman.

Update, 2010-01-24: The web page for Code2000 appears to no longer exist. Here’s wikipedia. Can this augur the death of the font at Jstor?


Anonymous said...

you are absolutely right!! i love you!!

human mathematics said...

Competent developers use UTF-8? I was hounded on perlmonks for suggesting using a UTF-8 character to bound complicated s///g expressions instead of the slash.