typographic expression

8 Feb 2023

Last updated


table of contents

  1. lowercase magic ✨
  2. careful online presence
  3. typographical expression
  4. right feel, right moment
  5. celebrating small things

lowercase magic ✨

one of those articles was lowercase magic, by rob hardy.

in his article, he talks about difficulties he finds when creating, as well as channeling inspiration, and how a change as little as writing in lowercase only could unleash him free of these chains.

i cannot get enough of this. i cannot agree more with anything in the world. small things matter, and most of the people writing in lowercase do it very purposefully.

i mean, just think about it. 90% of the time, we are typing in our phones. phones are designed and built with assisting tools for typing, like automatic uppercase at the beginning of sentence or after a period.

yet, everyone writes in lowercase. this could mean two things. they disabled the keyboard setting to do so — which requires a minimum level of expertise in phone customization, but a massive amount of commitment to just ever think about it. or, on the other hand, they constantly disable the uppercase before writing, or even correct it after the fact.

careful online presence

in any of the cases, this is outstanding. writing in lowercase is really that important for this generation. i cannot stress this enough. almost all we do is write on our phones, so this really becomes a way of bringing the feel back home.

when i see people writing in lowercase in the wild, it already gives me a lot of information about them. even more so, when i see people writing correctly, or rather, canonically, i get even more information.

part of what comes to mind is care. as mentioned before, this is an extra step to take when typing. seeing people actively change the behaviour of their device in order to achieve this effect shows me that they care about their online presence, at least a bit. i can also extrapolate (and maybe project) that they care about details. details are important.

typographical expression

while reading to rob’s article, it also came to mind the obsession i have about type, as in fonts. i really, really love checking out every font’s webpage, specimen, use case, whatever. i really, really enjoy just seeing letters on a screen.

type can say a lot just by pure shape. after all, that is precisely the job their creators have. a typographer’s job is to make a link between shape, concept and feeling. the shape is the glyph, the concept, that which lies under the word, and the feeling, how we, as readers, interpret that concept through that shape.

this made me think about how much time i put into choosing a font for the tools i use. one particular interesting example is the tool i mainly use to write, obsidian.

i have probably changed the aspect of my obsidian theme 4—6 times this week only. tweaking it to be just perfect. but perfect lasts for a bit only, when i find a better color, or, even more so, a better font.

right feel, right moment

for the longest time i stuck with Helvetica, pretending i understood something about design. afterwards, came Avenir. i thought Helvetica was macos’ font of choice, until i found out that it was actually San Francisco Pro.

another example is my code editor, vscode. from the default Menlo, to Inconsolata (a copycat of Consolas, only present on windows), to San Francisco Mono, to IBM Plex Mono, to Victor Mono, back to IBM’s… the list is endless. i change a lot and i do it when it feels right.

this references a moment in the interview Lex Fridman has with Rick Rubin, in which he states that only when he travelled to the west coast could he understand west coast’s music. i feel like that but with my tiny little characters.

celebrating small things

this is just a dump of thoughts that came out through rob’s article. what i find its meaning to be is just a celebration of small things. small as in: small changes. there is not much change in just a single character at the beginning of each sentence. but the meaning it holds is utterly unbelievable.

again, this is a celebration of small things. no detail is really too small.