Friday, March 23, 2007

Georgia on My Mind

Funny thing these fonts. They are annoyingly personal and sometimes imposingly so. It’s fun to run through the preview list of the fonts on Word (especially after you’ve just loaded up one CD full of it) to see the diversity of styles in which a word can be reproduced. And they do strange things. Like I used to like Arial because my office uses it. It looked neat, clean shaven and dependable. But what Arial didn't know was that I had a secret affair going on with Palatino Linotype. I would use that for submissions that I did alone so nobody knew of my betrayal. It felt more mature, more considered, more worldly, not what Arial had become for me, clinically well rounded. Such a bore. And so in my despair at my situation I would have casual affairs with Times New Roman, Garamond, Century Schoolbook and even flirted briefly with Sylfaen, Book Antiqua and even Baskerville Old Face which some probably even overlook in their scroll. God, I was such a whore! But to be honest, I couldn't stay loyal to any of them. They lost their charms too quickly, like an inexperienced stripper who whipped off her clothes before the music even started. Times New Roman, I suppose was my longest lover but it was mostly because she was there and willing. She was the bloody default for god’s sake. But I did not totally dislike it – I liked her style and wanted something similar but different. You know how when you use a font you don’t like, each letter is heavy and reluctant, each word and paragraph resists you. You do not just fight for creative impulse but your fonts too. Whatever you write (or type rather) doesn’t look right. It just doesn’t taste right.

Out of sheer frustration one day ('come on man, find that font that says ‘this is me, this is who I am') I scrolled through the list of fonts, one by one and trying out those I thought may find resonance with me. Am not sure whether it is love just yet or merely still in lust, but whatever it is, of this I am certain: I'm at love's doorstep. Georgia. Georgia, is her name. Just that bit firmer than Palatino Linotype, resembles Times New Roman, and even had hinted at an antique typewriter font. And I tried out a few passages with that. Stuttering, floundering at first until, like a flower that chose when to reveal itself did just that, I was mesmerized. This font doesn’t just express my letters, it inspires them. It tempts and teases them to leave me. It cajoles and caresses them away from me. I look at the screen and see these words that I’ve typed reproduced in such beautiful style that even if whatever I’ve written is crap, by god, at least it looks good. Georgia makes me want to see more. The end of each sentence is like just that inch higher on her skirt on an endless pair of shapely legs. If this be the task asked of Sisyphus to go to and fro on those legs, let me bear that punishment with him! I've got Georgia on my mind. (P.S. That is not a partial shot of a Georgia font)

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