I have always been a fan of the Times Roman typeface.
Even before the home computer took off on its sprint to ubiquity, back in the Dark Ages of the 1970s and 1980s when I thought I had a career as a typesetter, I admired the crispness of the font and the way the serifs march across the page like an endless rank of Roman foot soldiers. (Don’t feel badly if you don’t know what a typesetter is. It is an ancient line of work that goes back to the time of Gutenberg, but barely exists anymore in the United States. I hate you, Microsoft Word.)
Some folks eschew Times Roman, claiming that it is unbearably mainstream and boring, the typeface equivalent of a stodgy Wall Street banker in a three-piece suit. Well, just remember that said stodgy banker is earning millions of dollars a year and living in a penthouse suite, while Comic Sans and Poor Richard are selling their artwork on the sidewalk and living off the nickels that passersby toss into their tip cups.
Those who can’t stand my friend TR can always defect across the tracks to the land of Arial. You think Times Roman is boring? Arial doesn’t even have serifs, for heaven’s sake. Because Sir Arial goes stumping across the page without feet, some insist that it is a cleaner typeface for the purposes of business correspondence.
Now, I’m not prejudiced or anything. I have lots of friends that are sans serif fonts. Just last week I was chatting with Tahoma over in a footnote (I just had to rub it in by taking a footless font out to a footnote) and once I had a few too many at a pica bar and inadvisably went all right justify and everything with Verdana. You can bet I regretted that one in the morning.
To me, Arial is the nebbish of fonts, the nondescript mouse who gets dizzy in revolving doors and still has its momma wash its ascenders at the age of forty.
There are sophisticates out there who are tired of the constant bickering between Times Roman and Arial, yell for a pox on both their houses, and run off to have tawdry affairs with Calibri and Palatino.
I don’t approve of this profligate kind of behavior, mind you. But I do see where these folks are coming from. After all, it’s gotten to the point where TR and Arial remind me of the Republicans and Democrats in Congress. They sit across the aisle from each other, call each other names and spend more time blustering and filibustering than getting anything done.
Call me narrow-minded, but I am not one of those fence sitters who stay home on Election Day or throw away their votes on the likes of Viner Hand Tooled. I have staked out my position in favor of Times Roman and I’m stickin’ to it.
Those who don’t like it can go to Helvetica and leave me the Helios alone.