Fonts’ Welcome

Whenever I visit the UK, there is this moment that makes me realize that I have arrived there. No, it is not the laid-back attitude of the border police. Neither is it the ability of people to queue or to stand behind lines or generally suddenly behave meek as lambs in crowded places. No, it is some tiny little sign with some mostly unimportant message. To be more precise it is the typeface the words on this sign are set in. You go to the UK and suddenly it is not Verdana, Arial, DIN or Frutiger any longer. The fonts that surround you in public are Gill Sans, Johnston, Transport or some other, more modern, grotesque font. Like here, at Manchester Airport: the sign does not only tell foreigners to behave appropriately, it also says: “Hiya! Welcome to the UK. Make yourself at home (and a nice cup of tea later on (before you go to have too many pints of overprized beer–for which you might have to queue in an orderly fashion)).”

[“Fonts’ Welcome” – 2019-08-29]