Proofreading Tips presents Fun with Fonts

Here’s a miscellany of holiday reading on fonts for August.

Remember this? 

And now it’s 2016 and Rio and you’re probably familiar with this by now...

Fabio Haag, who designed this font with a team of six at Dalton Maag, said – 

“ look like it was hand-written and spontaneous, we created a lot of alternative characters. There are two versions of b, d, p and g and the version that is used is based on what letters precede and follow it, so the connections look natural.” 

That’s a font acquiring an audience of about 4 billion just now 

Font facts 

The lowercase letters a and g are interesting in font design as they have evolved two styles: double storey and single storey. The two styles of g are also known as looptail and opentail.

Whichever version your preferred font features it should satisfy this requirement, from the eminent designer Frederic Goudy – 

“When a type design is good it is not because each individual letter of the alphabet is perfect in form, but because there is a feeling of harmony and unbroken rhythm that runs through the whole design, each letter kin to every other and to all.” 

Font quiz 

Cheese or font? 

Beaumarchais, Dauphin, Gabriel, Gloucester, Kunafa, Patzcuaro, Rudelsberg, Siraz, Tetilla?  
Answers below. 

Alphabet puzzle

Write out the alphabet starting with J and wrapping around, namely:


Erase all letters that have left-right symmetry (such as A), and count the letters in each of the five groups that remain. What do you notice? 

(from ‘100 Martin Gardner Wordplay Headscratchers’) 

And finally... 

Here’s an illustration from The Alphabet Abecedarium by Richard Firmage 

Subtitled ‘Some notes on letters’ it’s a compendium of facts on the alphabet and includes this quotation from Geofroy Tory (Renaissance designer and printer) – 

“From letters one makes syllables, from syllables words, and from words discourse. Do your duty by them.” 

So that’s enough holiday reading... time for holiday writing! 

Cheese or font answers – 

Kunafa, Siraz and Tetilla are cheeses 
Beaumarchais, Patzcuaro and Rudelsberg are fonts 
Dauphin, Gabriel and Gloucester are both! 

More on should you have found this inspiring. 

Alphabet puzzle – 

If you recognised the sequence of numbers revealed... reward yourself with a pie!

Catriona Tippin has been a member of SCBWI since 2006 and helps organise venues for SCBWI North East. Details of her writing and illustrating here. She proofreads study guides, house magazines and publicity material for national educational organisations, in addition to working on a variety of proofreads and copyedits for the growing self-published world. Her monthly column is intended to give you food for thought, remembering “Any correction of the speech or writing of others will contain at least one grammatical, spelling or typographical error” (McKean’s Law, named after its inventor Erin McKean, editor of the Oxford American Dictionary).


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. It is generally not considered to be so easy for the students who have been at their earlier stages after completing their programs rather professionals will impact upon all the way.


We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.