If dogs were fonts, which would they be? It’s an unusual question, yet one that has reigned supreme on the AnOther Loves stream this Christmas week, beating the festive contenders into spangled second place. Chosen by AnOther’s fashion editor Agata Belcen to welcome dachshund Wren into the publishing fold, Classic Fonts is a canine character round up of the computer texts we take for granted. From the floppy eared ubiquity of Helvetica and Künstler’s primped flourishes, to the stolidity of Times and the Gothic weight of Fraktur, the fonts are brought to adorable life, adding an extra dimension to choosing the typeface for your CV.
The term ‘font’ derives from ‘fonte’, a Middle French word meaning "(something that has been) melt(ed)", referring to when type was produced by casting molten metal at a type foundry. English-speaking printers have used the term ‘fount’ for centuries to refer to the multi-part metal type used to assemble and print in a particular size and typeface. Since the dawn of the computer age, fonts of all shapes, sizes, legibility, extravagance and purpose have proliferated, to varying degrees of success. Helvetica, a sans-serif created 55 years ago in Switzerland, is one of the most visible fonts in the world, used by the US government on tax forms, by NASA on the Space Shuttle Orbiter, and by brands including McDonalds, American Apparel and Apple. Fashion has taken typefaces, quite literally, to their bosom, with slogan t-shirts and jumpers proving eternally popular, from the political by Katherine Hamnett (58% Don’t Want Pershing) and the neon shouts of Henry Holland (Cause Me Pain Hedi Slimane), to the self publicising of Rodarte (J’adore Rodarte).
"Fashion has taken typefaces, quite literally, to their bosom, with slogan t-shirts and jumpers proving eternally popular..."
Here, we talk to Belcen about her canine inspirations for this Love, her favourite slogans, and the eternal confusion over the point of Wingdings.
Why did you choose to love this poster?
I posted this in honour of Wren, our four-(baggy)-pawed addition to the AnOther team. It's to make him feel at home and show him that there's a history of pooches and publishing mixing well.
If you designed a font what would it be called?
Good question. Belcen Black Sans Pro?
What is your favourite font of all time?
One of the ones – I think they're called Wingdings – composed of invented symbols (although I guess that's any letter system). What are those for? And who uses them?
What is your favourite slogan of all time?
"Taste the rainbow."
"Melts in your mouth not in your hands."
"More fun than Rum."
What is your favourite letter in the alphabet and why?
I'm pretty fond of K. H has served me well. J when I'm in a good mood. L is good in any situation. P to make an impression. V for drama.
If Wren was a font, what would he be?
Wren Red. And instead of Bold and Italic you'd be able to have the font as Soft or Short.
What are you looking forward to about Christmas?
Seeing my parents and talking to my brother.
What was the last thing you bought?
6 course taster menu at John Salt in Islington. Chic and delicious.
Text by Tish Wrigley