In working out the encryptions for my latest series of word puzzle acrylic paintings, there were a number of constraints that were necessary for the compositions to have the desired effect. One of the most important was the emission of the letter “Q” because when that letter is included without the following “U” it looks like something is wrong. The viewer should be able to view the paintings and combine the letterforms to create their own words and expressions easily.
In choosing a font for the current series of cryptographic paintings, I settled on one of the more durable and popular typefaces, Caslon. Created during 1725 by William Caslon at his foundry in Sheffield, England, it was based on some of the current Dutch fonts of the time, and includes well-developed serif characters that aid in legibility and aesthetic value.
Here’s the story of a ninth grader who failed algebra and later worked in a tire store. His specialty was the retreading machine: grind off the old tread, glop on the adhesive, align new tread on tire, seal the new tread. Repeat. Surely, this experience helped shape his later life, but it was the mediocrity of the occupation that eventually forced him to earn a degree in mathematics and send a resume to IBM. It was 1965 and IBM needed to train a few bright kids to function as electrical engineers.
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Whilst a student at RISD I had several jobs as a custodian at various schools in the area, a skill set I still find valuable today. One day, while emptying a few barrels of middle school waste product, I noticed a large movie screen that was being thrown away. As it turned out, it was being disposed of because it no longer zipped back up like a venetian blind when it was tugged on. “Hey,” I said to myself, “That’s a great big white painting surface!”
Now that everyone has had their say about fonts like Comic Sans and Papyrus (I hope) it’s time to take a look at that curiosity known as Calypso. May it serve as an example for those that would like to mock it, and everyone can revel in their purist sense of style. Fine. Calypso is fascinating to me because it’s barely a font at all!