Magazine May 3, 2021, Issue


(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,

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




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


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