Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Typographic notes from all over IV: About that gift card...

Okay, I wasn’t going to take the time, but this is seasonal.

Have you ordered any holiday gifts on the Web to be shipped to friends and relatives with an enclosed gift card? Have you received any such gifts?

What is wrong with these people? The merchants, I mean. “We’ll enclose your personalized note.” I guess I’d rather have a personal note, but I’ll settle for personalized. What I won’t settle for is a personalized note limited to 100 characters (including spaces) and printed on 20 lb. copier paper in 10 pt. Arial bold, all caps. Is that as personalized as these people are capable of?

Oh, it isn’t every catalog. The ones that are primarily in the gift business, rather than just running a little gift sideline at this time of year, put in a little more effort. Maybe they choose a slightly friendlier font and go to the trouble of printing on an attractive card. But they still limit the length of the message ridiculously and they still print it out in all caps.

Here’s a clue: Computers have been able to print lowercase letters since 1963.

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