Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Revising the type on a T-shirt

Many years ago I was a high-paid, award-winning Madison Avenue advertising copywriter. In addition to ads and commercials, I also wrote copy for T-shirts, and sometimes came up with the designs. It was great fun seeing people wearing words that I wrote -- especially a decade or more later.

I had nothing to do with the cute shirt above. It uses a mixture of normal English type plus fake Hebrew type. The Italic type adds nothing and the italic "I" by itself on the top line looks weird.

"Kvetch" is the Yiddish word for "complain" and the text is based on "Cogito ergo sum," Latin for "I think, therefore I am" -- a line attributed to Rene Descartes (1596-1650). He was a French philosopher, mathematician and writer.

"Kvetch" can be a noun as well as a verb. A person who kvetches is a kvetch.

Yiddish is a language that combines German, Slavic, Hebrew and other words and is printed with Hebrew text, from right to left.

Combining characters from two languages, especially when one set of characters is fake, can be tough. If I was redesigning the shirt, I think I'd eliminate the itals, and maybe put "I" in the same line as "kvetch." Maybe I'd use a serif face, with upper- and lower-case letters. I'd remove the dot from the fake "C."

Putting the text in two lines instead of four makes it easier to read, as does having the lines of text approximately the same width.

I provided a little extra space between the "I" and the fake "K."

Here's my quickie redesign:

No comments:

Post a Comment