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When the Client Specs Arial

From Shane Goldmacher and Katie Glueck’s report for The New York Times on Joe Biden’s preparation for this week’s debate:

Given Mr. Biden’s current polling edge, his advisers have been downplaying the debate’s significance even as the former vice president has plunged himself into days of intense preparations. He is rehearsing and studying his briefing books — Mr. Biden has long preferred the Arial typeface, 14 point — in a process overseen by his longtime adviser and former chief of staff, Ron Klain, who similarly ran Hillary Clinton’s debate camp.

This too came up on my podcast this week, and my take is simple. When someone says they like Arial, what they mean is that they like Helvetica and they don’t know the difference. Any designer worth their salt, when asked for Arial, uses Helvetica instead.

Friday, 2 October 2020