Criticism for the new grotesques

A Reading Note

Both Univers and Helvetica came in for some criticism from Karl Gerstner: as being too smooth and producing too even a colour. If this was a “graphic” advantage, it was not a “functional” one: “what has ocular clarity may appear monotonous when read.”

Kinross, Modern Typography, page 155

This is an irrelevant criticism when addressed towards display faces, but a book face that doesn’t serve the reader is a failure. Adrian Shaughnessy’s book (How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul) is beautifully set in Akzidenz Grotesk, but fuck if my eyes weren’t bleeding while I read it.

Related books

Modern Typography

Robin Kinross

A rare object—a book on typography that is as beautifully written as it is designed.