‘The Typeface Teen’

& Brand Benevolence

I’m not such a typeface nerd as some here at Gasp, it may surprise you that there’s at least one person at this agency for whom great typeface is the summa of all that’s good in the world. No marks for guessing who.

I suppose I could take solace from the fact that while this kids swatting up on typefaces, when I was his age I was busy taking girls out. But that would be a lie of course, I didn’t kiss a girl until I was sixteen. When I wasn’t failing to get my head around quadratic equations I was generally just procrastinating and crying in my bedroom.

Essentially, I like a good font as much as the next chap, but if typeface nerds exist; this guy is their new King.

Just look at this lad, he’s only fourteen years old; it’s mental.

He’s worked out that the U.S government could save $400 million by simply switching typeface on official documents. Gloriously simple.

Now think of yourself when you were fourteen. And you’ll see that this is the problem with over-achieving young’uns they just make everyone else miserable.
They make everyone conclude that they’ve achieved exactly nothing.

I suppose I could take solace from the fact that while this kids swatting up on typefaces, when I was his age I was busy taking girls out. But that would be a lie of course, I didn’t kiss a girl until I was sixteen. When I wasn’t failing to get my head around quadratic equations I was generally just procrastinating and crying in my bedroom.

Although perhaps I should just do exactly what I would’ve done then, and make myself feel less inadequate by calling him a loser and punching him, only in ‘blog form’.

He says in his interview that he’s also created a web-browsing system for people with motor neurone disabilities using electroencephalography and eye tracking. So he’s actually helping people less fortunate than himself as well as saving the government hundreds of millions.

What a nerd eh!!

Now lets go and smoke behind that citadel of mediocrity; the bike sheds.

On a separate note, I like this ad from Colgate.

While the traditionalist in me protests that it doesn’t say anything about the product itself, it does have a very positive message about the brand. They’re environmentally conscious and consider their ‘triple bottom line’. It’s perhaps becoming more common nowadays for brands to associate themselves with philanthropic or altruistic causes. Just look at Innocent Smoothies, who've built an entire business on that premise.

Unlike this Colgate ad, which is quite well balanced, I’ve seen examples where the whole ‘philanthrovertising’ (another new one) thing is very clumsily executed. This can make the brand look incredibly callous, opportunistic and desperate. Here’s one from from Papa John’s which I reckon does just that…

Gasp blog typeface teen papa john

By the way since it’s April Fools Day, there’s one complete mis-truth in this blog. Just for a bit of fun.

See if you can guess what it is before scrolling down for the answer...















Answer: Tragically, I was actually seventeen.

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