A new zenith — of sadness

Chris Applegate has an interesting post about that Design Quest vote thingy that The Culture Show had recently. Concorde won, which, as Chris pretty convincingly points out, is crap.

I was going to write a post about this when the Design Quest launched but then I realised that it was going to turn into a post about fonts, and that is the point where you have truly reached a new zenith of sadness. So today I’m going to write a post about fonts.

Because, you see, I wanted Verdana to win. I don’t know much about design, but I guess we’re all experts in this since we must all use designs. And that Culture Show vote was open to the great unwashed, so I’m going to open my unwashed mouth about this.

Verdana is my favourite font. Once upon a time it was Helvetica, but it’s probably quite cheesy to say that (although it’s probably quite cheesy to say that Verdana is your favourite font as well). Helvetica isn’t on this PC anyway, and it also spawned the devil, otherwise known as Arial.

So why do I like Verdana? Because it is all over the place, yet you never get sick of it. Unlike some fonts (yes, I am looking at Comic Sans), Verdana is suitable for everything. Death announcement or party invite, Verdana will do the trick. It is stylish yet neutral, and it is highly legible — how many fonts so clearly differentiate l, I and 1?

In fact, Verdana was designed specifically for use on computers, and you can really tell. It looks lovely small, and it looks lovely large as well. Comparing two extreme sizes, and it’s almost like looking at a completely different font. The same happens if you’re looking at Verdana ‘in the flesh’ or on the screen.

And if you don’t know what Verdana is, I’ll give you a clue — every single piece of text on this blog is in Verdana. In fact, most sites seem to use Verdana, yet you never notice. Surely this very fact — that you don’t notice it — is evidence of just how well it does its job, which is to be easily read.

Three cheers for Verdana!


  1. Agree with your comments about Verdana – so does the (big) company I work for – it’s now the corporate standard for emails, reports, etc because of it’s “clean lines” and “easy legibility”.

    I DON’T agree with you and Chris A – Concorde IS an icon – he’s completely missed the point about an icon. James Dean was an icon, but he only made a few films, and I’m sure you can think of other examples. Being an “icon” is about being easily recognised, Routemaster Bus, the Pyramids, the Bic ballpoint pen, etc. QED!

  2. […] that means ditching the childish neon colours and adopting a serif font. I have spoken before about my devotion to Verdana, but I am afraid I have become rather tired of it. It is suffering from Times New Roman […]