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just thought i’d share the little nugget i saw today in the phone book. and rainbow colors even!
Aaaaaah! And here I thought it was only the local shoppers / classiﬁed papers still actively using Hobo these days… and those ad placemats, too…. Little League t-shirts… If it’s good enough for the phone company, tho, well then by God…
Note that this is the content listing for the community pages. That word community is surely the key to the choice of typeface. This is a perfect use of Hobo, a typeface that in my idiosyncratic classiﬁcation scheme is categorised as ersatz vernacular.
i also thought it was interesting that it was the community section. is hobo really the perfect font to bridge the gap between “zip codes” and “elected oﬃcials”? (perhaps the name ﬁts for elected oﬃcials. i’ve never heard of a font called dirty crook, so…) i’m very curious about your reasoning.
Ersatz vernacular. Excellent!!!
here are some more excerpts to study. hobo appears to be the unifying element, although used somewhat inconsistantly. it’s used for every tab, some subheads, some headlines, etc.
When I was gearing up to do “Behind the Typeface,” Hobo was originally the star, before Cooper Black stole the show. I was surprised to learn how old a typeface Hobo was. It’s been completely disconnected from its Nouveau roots. It could be such a worthwhile face, if used better.
i was surprised too. 1910. whoa. i was just a kid then. but aside from this being an obnoxious use of hobo (redundant maybe, but…), i was curious about why the designer used it. john hudson said: That word community is surely the key to the choice of typeface. This is a perfect use of Hobo but why? what kind of community can this be? not a pressing issue, i know, but it’s something i’m curious about. a “psychology of type” kind of thing.
but why? what kind of community can this be? I think it is the idea that ‘community’ is something made by people, not for people by, say, government agencies. You want people to think that ‘Parks and Recreation’ are something that belongs to them, rather than something that has been planned for them by a Park’s Board and a civic bureaucracy. So you use a typeface that looks vernacular, like something someone might have written by hand on the side of a lemonade stand. So you think ‘Ah, old fashioned lemonade’ not ‘I wonder if those kids have a license to sell lemonade, and are they collecting sales tax?’
Behind the Typeface! I would be so excited… It’s growing on me… at ﬁrst I was thinking (especially after the “what kind of community can this be” question), that maybe Hobo felt kind of patronizing…you know, too “just folks…” after all, the idea here isn’t to sell something but to serve another function… but I must ask myself, even if that’s so, does it have to be straight-laced and sans-serify boring? but, god help me, it’s kind of growing on me… must-stop-looking-at-it… must… resist… don’t want to go to work and scream “Hobo! Hobo for everything!”
Curse you Isaac, you’ve blinded me. Since I ﬁrst saw this thread I’ve noticed (1) That (wretched) 70s Show uses some skewed form of Hobo in their credits (ersatz vernacular?), and (2) my favorite used bookstore in Chicago, Myopic, has Hobo plastered all over their awning. Myopic, indeed.
Stop! My eyes! My eyes! Bitstream needs to do the world a favor and stop disctributing this for about a decade. Then when they re-release it it will be the hottest thing since, well, since Beesknees!