Al Gore, A Typeface And The Number 1

BookCover As a font geek and a design nerd, I get very excited when I read a story in the mainstream press about typography or graphic design. And so it was with great interest that I came across the recent story of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and his font problem.

The problem was, the font used in his new 400-page book caused the number 1 to look like the uppercase letter I. The book layout and design was created by MGMT an experienced graphic design company.  It seems the book includes many scientific formulas and when Al and the graphic design team were running through the proofs, the number one was causing confusion.

The typeface used in the book, called Brioni was designed by Nikola Djurek in 2008 for the Typotheque type foundry and is available in several weights. Here’s what it looks like:

Brioni

Writing on the Typotheque blog, Peter Bilak explained how he received a phone call from MGMT requesting a change to the font in order to avoid the number 1 confusion.

You see, Al is really involved with the project and we spend a lot of time working together in the publisher’s office. When he was reviewing the proofs, he had a comment about the typeface.

Basically, he wants you to change the numeral one.

Like all good businesses providing a service, Typotheque obviously aim to please their customers and so in a matter of five hours, the font was changed to remove the offending “1” and replace it with a more recognisable “1”.

OldAndNew

The new numeral has been changed on all of the Brioni weights and has been renamed “Gore’s Choice.” If you own a Brioni licence you can download the new font a free update.

A great anecdote for Typotheque and a happy ending for all concerned.

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  • Carlo

    The old one was was clearly a mistake, how that “I” was supposed to be a “1″? “I” stays for “1″ only within Roman numbers.

  • http://www.sky-web.net/ Dr John

    The new version is clearly so much better, I wonder why they released the original version with that I as a 1 – it looks so out of place next to the other numbers.

  • http://www.besalighting.com The Schaef

    Maybe it was taken from Times New Roman :p