Magazine May 3, 2021, Issue

Fontasia

CNN
(Chris Aluka Berry/Reuters)

(Trigger warning: This piece uses “font” and “typeface” interchangeably.)

CNN tweeted out a question the other day: “Can a font be racist?” The only proper answer would be “Yes, and I am sorry for using it. I will do better. And by the way, what font was it?”

A stereotypical “Asian” font, made of triangular brushstrokes. As the article put it: “For years, the West has relied on so-called ‘chop suey’ fonts to communicate ‘Asianness’ in food packaging, posters and ad campaigns. But such fonts perpetuate problematic stereotypes.”

What doesn’t? A slab of marble sitting on a vast desert plain can be problematic,

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.

If you enjoyed this article and want to see more content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.

 

Join Now

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

CNN
Athwart

Fontasia

When I saw the chop-suey font in the CNN story I was reminded of a powdered-drink product from my youth: Funny Face.

Recommended

The Latest

Stalin Dies Again

Stalin Dies Again

A crazed cult of personality or really good acting? Restored footage shows how the Soviet Union reacted to Uncle Joe’s demise in the doc State Funeral.