Dr Sigman has studied the emotional impact of fonts and is convinced that they constitute a second dialogue. After analysing stern letters from bank managers, he concluded that they are increasingly using fluffy, friendly fonts in a vain attempt to humanise their message.
Font experts in the type-obsessed world of advertising advise against such obvious clashes between meaning and typography. I hate it when banks talk to youths in yoofy typefaces, says Julian Vizard, of the St Lukes agency. Its like William Hague turning up at the Notting Hill Carnival in a baseball cap.
The print edition also has a whimsical inset matching fonts to personality types. Apparently the font of choice of bloggers and web types is Verdana, Courier is used by embittered old journalists, people with an affinity for Gill Sans are "tasteful, design-conscious, probably gay or bi-curious and have a lot of brushed stainless steel in [their] kitchen" (umm...) and Comic Sans people desperately want to be loved. Oh, and the Prince of Wales is said to like Helvetica; that really says a lot.
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