Re: typeface to go with photographs of various kinds

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/28/04-09:35:04 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Wed, 28 Jul 2004, Jonathan Taylor wrote:
> ... In my most
> recent message I took another, more sensible tact: choosing Times to
> accompany a visual art presentation is rarely ever going to look like a
> choice at all....
> outside of obvious parady choosing Times will make it look like you didn't
> care.

Parody doesn't have to be obvious... subtle is good too..... but my
association to this argument is to an interview with Francesco Clemente,
one of my favorite painters, somewhere a while back. He said art should
look *effortless.* Yes, yes, I agree -- although at the same time I like
art that's labor intensive (which is not this conundrum). What I'm
reacting to I think is the idea that I have to *prove* I care. Pfui. If
the work itself and what I say don't convey passion then all is lost
anyway, and hardly to be saved by an expensive type face.

> Choosing Times will connect your work to all the drab office
> correspondance your audience has ever seen. For me that is a connection I'm

I think 98% of my "audience" (if any) wouldn't know Times from Zapf
Dingbat, let alone Zapf Chancery... and if there were any connection to
"drab office correspondance" (which in my drab mailings is more likely to
be Courier or -- I pick the top envelope of a pile of fund appeals off my
desk.... Isn't there a face called "Executive"?... looking like it came
out of an IBM Selectric), I think they'd be bemused to see such face with
a photograph. And certainly in the past, before I had the relatively
sophisticated means of repro I have now, the enlarged homemade-looking
letters printed as "legends" in my alt photos could be seen as reverse
chic, like the frilly cups of rat poison on the landings of Soho artists'
lofts in the 70s.

> not usually interested in making.
> I'm not proposing an inflexible rule. My original suggestion was to "avoid."
> (Ok, I did get carried away with my loathing for Times.) In art, rules are
> an invitation to all the subversives, perverts, and anarchists. I, for one,
> am glad that they always accept (John!). :-)

I think that's what set me off... because the only "rule" in art is there
are no rules, and if Times is really that bad (which I'm too ignorant on
the topic to debate), it must be good.

> Use Times to your hearts content! I suspect (and hope) that most of us would
> like to do so with some consciousness of what such a choice means.

Well you've certainly raised my consciousness... My inclination, though,
is to rush to the defense of a tried & true warhorse.

However, since you know so much -- What type face would you suggest I look
at (to care without showing it) for a commercially printed book (not my
alt photo prints) with photos & captions in Roman & italic ? (I found
doing P-F that not all italics are created equal -- some from perfectly
decent faces are illegible.)


Received on Wed Jul 28 21:35:18 2004

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