Quote of Note | Simon Garfield

“I first became interested in type when I bought David Bowie‘s Hunky Dory album in my teens. Taking it home on the upper deck of a London bus, I remembered staring intently at the sleeve for clues to what might lie inside. Hunky Dory offered its wares in a type called Zipper, a classic bit of buzzy sci-fi text that suggested something spacey and robotic (the songs were actually spacey and vulnerable).

It soon became clear that type was strong stuff, able to confer emotion and mood in the most direct ways. The bus I was riding had its destination letters in less imaginative type, but they were no less functional (they were in the ultra-clear Johnston font that also adorned the London Underground). Like reliable architecture, form followed function: The bus letters had clarity while Bowie’s had intrigue.”

Simon Garfield, author of Just My Type: A Book About Fonts (Gotham), in an essay published in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal