Swiss721

lore's picture

I apologise for my ignorance but why, why? would the organisers of a conference (on Urban Plannning History) ask for papers to be submitted in Swiss721? As far as I know it's just as boring as Helvetica which everybody has in their computers, right?

bojev's picture

Bitstream Swiss 721 is Helvetica -

lore's picture

Exactly the same?

lore's picture

and, most importantly, is this a good choice for a 15 pages long academic text?

russellm's picture

There is a very slight different in the leg of the 'R'

That about it.

lore's picture

thank you guys and sorry for the stupid question.

eliason's picture

and, most importantly, is this a good choice for a 15 pages long academic text?

No.

dezcom's picture

Back in the day when there were proprietary output systems for setting photo composition, vendor A would not allow vendor B to use the "real" font without a substantial fee. Vendor B often made his own version to run on his own equipment so he could offer the "hot new face". They also came up with a nice pseudo name that, with a wink and a nod, told you which face it was masking as :-)

lore's picture

Hi Chris! Thanks. I should have done some research before asking. Thanks Craig, historians: what do they know. :)

hrant's picture

> is this a good choice for a 15 pages long academic text?

I think two pages in Helvetica is pushing it.

Why would they spec that? Sounds like a great start to an
exposé on how non-type-people make such determinations.

hhp

lore's picture

God knows who's in charge for the Conference Proceedings but it must be a big job, being an important international conference and all that. My guess the gig has been assigned to some graphic design office in Sao Paulo and someone there thinks it's fun to read an academic text, full of all sort of citations, dates, notes, references etc. in Helvetica. Plus such a Modernist type for a conference on Urban planning history when we should be trying harder to distance ourselves from all the damages that such an ideology has produced in terms of town planning. A bad choice in many aspects. Brazilian architects, designers and planners are still very much attached to all things Modern.

hrant's picture

I guess the messier a place the more Modernism is appealing.
And some Europeans move away from Modernism simply as a
knee-jerk reaction, or jumping on the next flavor-of-the-decade.

But I agree with you - in the end it leads nowhere.

hhp

JamesM's picture

> it's just as boring as Helvetica which
> everybody has in their computers

There's your answer; they're doing it because everyone has it. It's a bad choice but they don't want submissions in 20 different fonts.

Martin Silvertant's picture

> There's your answer; they're doing it because everyone has it. It's a bad choice but
> they don't want submissions in 20 different fonts.

But Swiss 721 is not on everyone's computer... I think assuming everyone has Helvetica is already pushing it. What's wrong with sticking to ugly ol' TNR?

JamesM's picture

> But Swiss 721 is not on everyone's computer..

You're right. I meant Helvetica (or Arial) is on most folks' computers, and will all look very similar to most people.

hrant's picture

> they're doing it because everyone has it.

By that logic you'd choose TNR, or the more-than-decent Georgia.

It's hard to not believe that this wasn't some designer's pet font
preference, and he was too much of an artiste to tame his urges.

hhp

dezcom's picture

No designer uses the fonts supplied by an author or editor. They just want the text with as little formatting s possible. My guess would be that they were eyeball copyfitting. At a quick glance, they could judge how much space the text would occupy. They could have chosen any easy to get font. This kind of a thing is a holdover from the old University days of standardized thesis and dissertation writing. Some folks never change ;-) When I was in Grad school in the early 70s, the only way you could get the Dean's approval was if you hired one of the 3 approved typists to match all the specifications to a T. Thank god for the digital era!

.00's picture

When I was in Grad school in the early 70s, the only way you could get the Dean's approval was if you hired one of the 3 approved typists to match all the specifications to a T

Chris, I was in grad school in the mid 70s.

I remember paying 75¢ a page for simple text and a $1 a page for any sort of "tabular" material.

Of course, you had to get most pages re-typed after the thesis committee finished their mark-up.

Good thing my department specified APA citations otherwise footnoted pages were $2!

Martin Silvertant's picture

> Good thing my department specified APA citations otherwise footnoted pages were $2!
Crazy times. I never even heard of this kind of business.

.00's picture

How old are you Martin?

dezcom's picture

Yes, James, demz waz dah best a Times and da woist ah Times :-)

lore's picture

Cool stories..thanks everyone.

At a quick glance, they could judge how much space the text would occupy.
Yes, I thought about that too.

By that logic you'd choose TNR, or the more-than-decent Georgia.It's hard to not believe that this wasn't some designer's pet font preference, and he was too much of an artiste to tame his urges.
Totally.

Nick Shinn's picture

Hrant, does that make you an artiste for always recommending your pet preference Legato?
What I mean is, people have their preferences for many reasons, and who is to say that those who prefer Helvetica don't do so for quite non-artistic reasons? In my experience, helveticaphiles usually support some kind of altruistic design philosophy in which neutrality has a connection with the massive, and is not an idiosyncratic "look at me, I'm expressing myself" rationale.

Martin Silvertant's picture

> How old are you Martin?
22

> helveticaphiles usually support some kind of altruistic design philosophy in which
> neutrality has a connection with the massive, and is not an idiosyncratic "look at me,
> I'm expressing myself" rationale.
I'm sure that's true, but I really don't think neutrality should really be a factor of consideration in this context. It's still just a stylistic issue and a matter of preference, whereas Legato is designed for an optimal reading experience (for a sans, anyway) regardless of whether you like the design. In that regard, Hrant is not an artiste for recommending Legato.

hrant's picture

To paraphrase Martin: there's a difference between recommending
something because of the way it looks versus what it does. When
you write a recommendation for somebody looking for a job, don't
write "you should hire her because she has a nice rack".

In my experience people recommend Helvetica usually because
their teacher (who is often in a certain age group...) impressed its
alleged awesomeness on them. And Helvetica isn't even neutral
(assuming that's even possible), it's just confused.

hhp

.00's picture

@Martin
22 huh. Good for you, the world is before you. Chris and my remembrances of grad school are most definitely from the pre-personal computer era. I wrote my thesis on 5x7 inch note cards either in the library or at the bar with a pitcher of beer. The typist was the 2nd best paid girl (always female) in town.

russellm's picture

Typist?
I had an Olivetti Lettera 22, a stack of paper and a waste basket.

Nick Shinn's picture

It's still just a stylistic issue and a matter of preference, whereas Legato is designed for an optimal reading experience (for a sans, anyway)

I'm not really advocating for Helvetica (having once given a talk titled Death to Helvetica), however, I do think that the motivations of people who spec it are sincere, although misguided. And of course, Max Miedinger and all the others who have contributed to the grotesque genre have been just as much committed to the ‘optimal reading experience’ as Evert Bloemsma. No one has the high ground just because they say so and have a clever theory.

hrant's picture

Being committed is not enough. You also need a certain
genius to make something like Legato, which Miedinger
for one did not have.

hhp

Martin Silvertant's picture

> 22 huh. Good for you, the world is before you. Chris and my remembrances of grad school
> are most definitely from the pre-personal computer era
I've been mentored by Joop Ridder in my type design, whom has been mentored by Gerrit Noordzij, Joop often talked about the old ways of doing typography (he did only one or two typefaces in his career so he was more of a typographer and graphic designer) in a manner which made it sound both magical and tedious. There's something to be admired for the craft and manual work that was involved, but I'm glad I can skip that part. However due to this lack of insight in the old methods I think many of us youngsters are getting both cocky and ignorant.

Martin Silvertant's picture

> I'm not really advocating for Helvetica
I know you aren't, but I don't see a point in defending people's sincere reasons for using a typeface when you yourself admit they're misguided. I mean, what point are you trying to make exactly?

Michel Boyer's picture

Are they really asking to submit papers in Swis721 or are they just providing Word templates using Swis721?

I searched and found this conference, the 15th IPHS Conference in São Paulo. What I found is Word templates so that all submitted papers look about the same when they open them. They expect those submitting papers to replace the existing text and match the style. And indeed, when I open the file 15IHPS-example.doc (for instance) I see that the font used is Swis721 Lt BT. That is misleading because I don't have that font on my computer, probably nobody else than the organizers does, and word will just apply some standard substitution for display; you can't rely on what you see on the screen to deduce what your text will look like in the proceedings. If I save their file in pdf format on my Macintosh, the font that is embedded is Trebuchet.

Nick Shinn's picture

Martin, I’m objecting to Hrant’s derogatory categorization of designers whose work has aesthetic qualities as artistes.
Such work is not indulgent self-expression, but part of a professional service to clients.

hrant's picture

Everything has aesthetic qualities.
What makes an artiste is the desire to force people to pay
attention to one's aesthetic preferences. This is not at all
a service to clients; it's dysfunctional and arrogant.

hhp

Martin Silvertant's picture

> Martin, I’m objecting to Hrant’s derogatory categorization of designers whose work has
> aesthetic qualities as artistes.
I don't feel like that's the case.

> Such work is not indulgent self-expression, but part of a professional service
> to clients.
I don't see how one excludes the other per se.

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