Hoefler’s Proof for Testing Fonts

While I’m on a font kick, I greatly enjoyed this essay from Jonathan Hoefler:

Type designers love a good pangram. Pangrams, of course, are sentences that contain each letter of the alphabet at least once, of which the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog is surely the most famous. Lettering artists of the previous generation bequeathed us jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz; puzzlers are fond of the impossibly compact Mr Jock, TV quiz PhD, bags few lynx for its 26-letter world record. Sometime in the early nineties, I whiled away an entire afternoon in a San Francisco café coming up with a bunch of my own, honoring typeface designers (mix Zapf with Veljović and get quirky Béziers), and philosophers (you go tell that vapid existentialist quack Freddy Nietzsche that he can just bite me, twice), and the uplifting grace of a cosmos in balance (Wham! Volcano erupts fiery liquid death onto ex-jazzbo Kenny G.) Pangrams are unctuous little brain ticklers, challenging to concoct, droll to read, and immensely popular for presenting fonts.

I find them singularly useless in type design, and I don’t use them in my work.

Friday, 30 June 2023