Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A sow's ear from a silk purse

Anyone who has received a Christmas card from me in the last few years will know that I make my own. I generally do some sort of calligraphy or illuminated piece of text. A few years ago I (along with a few of my colleagues) made some rather disparaging remarks about the quality of Christmas card we were using at work. When I then sent out my own cards, the Chairman was sufficiently taken with my design that he asked if I would design a card for the company. I did so last year, and then somehow it was assumed I would do so again this year. More fool me, I made another one this year. More fool for more than one reason. For one thing, even after only two years, it's now being taken for granted that I will spend hours of my free time producing a piece of artwork for the company. For another thing, I rashly completed work's card before my own, and mine is now languishing at the back of a queue of other more urgent projects (see LittleBear's birthday cake, LittleBear's birthday presents, LittleBear's broken toys that need mending, keeping the family fed, clothed, bathed and if at all possible sane). I fear for the chances of actually finishing it and getting it printed in time to write, address and post cards before Christmas. Again. Same as every year.

However, that's not my main problem with this particular project. My main problem is what the Chairman has done with my design. It's a hand-painted, hand-lettered design. In fact, here it is, in not-very-well-scanned format:

You get the idea. At its heart it is a piece of lettering. It is all about the font

And do you know what the Chairman has done? Do you know what font he has used inside the card for the greeting? He has used Microsoft Comic Sans. An excrescence on the face of the world. An insult to every well-proportioned font known to man. A festering pustule on the face of typography. When shown his draft of the greeting, I objected to Comic Sans in the strongest possible terms (translation: I swore like a navvy). His answer? "Well I like it". And now I've seen the proof back from the printer, and there Comic Sans squats, lumpen and ugly inside my card. What I want to do is stomp in, snatch my design back and say "screw you! If you can't respect my views of my own artwork, you don't deserve it!" But I won't, because I'm feeling a bit too munchkin-like for that. But it's the last time I design a card for work. They can used another crappy photoshopped picture of the cathedral in the snow next year.

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