Before I go on a rant that you probably will find pointless, but I find quite relevant. It would most likely be of assistance to give a historical background of the font that causes me so much rage.
Ages ago (really not that long ago), Helvetica was the reigning king as far as fonts. Yes, seriously the font you probably don’t use unless you have a fancy poster you’re designing was actually popular in the 1950s and the majority of the second half of the 20th Century. However, it began getting outdated because as people we seem to grow tired of trends quickly... except for jeans which will never go out of style.
Furthermore, Adobe came in with its development of PostScript where they licensed four basic fonts from the original foundries: Times, Courier, Helvetica, and Symbol. PostScript was created as an electronic and desktop publishing platform allowing the creation of professional quality typesetting with less expensive personal computers.
However, Adobe designed two PostScript fonts where one provided hints to improve the quality over the other one. Adobe had to be stingy only releasing the secrets for the mediocre font, but keeping the secrets for the superior one to themselves. This gave Adobe the power to have the upper hand in the font world. PostScript “look-alikes” to the font were being created and hence Arial was born by the development of Monotype.
Basically, Arial is a ripoff of Helvetica because the OG font could not be acquired. So there is literally nothing special about it. It barely differs from its “superior” twin apart from maybe the slight curvature of the “a” and negligible changes in the t, g, c, and r. Fun fact: the “a” changes in Helvetica when you place it in bold. Try for yourself. Arial letter “a” and Helvetica letter “a” are practically identical when both in bold.
On the other hand, Times New Roman was a product of a typographer hired to create a new font for the Times of London, a British newspaper. In 1929, Stanley Morison created an ornate and simple font that radiates elegance. However, this opinion was not shared by all, it had quite the criticism. Despite this, it later grew in popularity as it was used in the daily newspaper.
I have to disagree with my source for the Times New Roman article that the "italic is mediocre" for the font and that the font is the “absence of choice”. First, I think the way the font is designed makes it more fit for italics than all the other fonts. Second, Times New Roman is not the absence of choice because clearly, you are making a choice to utilize the obviously superior font over something as juvenile as Arial. I guess you could say that Times New Roman is a ripoff of say Plantin, but you know we’re talking about Arial’s inferiority right now so I don’t care.
It could be the journalist in me that prefers this font, but I think there are some facts that should be considered pertaining to Times New Roman becoming the default font:
The Use of Research and Formal Papers of Times New Roman
- MLA and APA are the most common format for research papers and/or other professional scripts, why not save us the trouble of changing the font. It’s probably already dreadful enough we have to write a paper anyway.
The Fact That You Can Fit More Words on a Page with Times New Roman
- The font was designed for a newspaper to fit more word on a page. Don’t you hate having to print out a paper that literally two sentences on it because you cannot fit that last sentence on a page without changing the required font? Yeah, me too.
The Fact That Arial is Just a Knock Off of Another Font
- I think we went over this if it’s so close to another font, why should it be the default. Anyways, if you were going to do that, you should have just picked the OG one, Helvetica.
Arial Appears Unprofessional And/Or Childish
- It’s pretty much on the same level of the cringe-worthy Comic Sans MS, which I can say I used once in my whole life as a camp counselor because if they font looks fun the event sounds fun...obviously.
The British Created Times New Roman…
- Okay probably not a solid argument, but come on, the Oxford Comma is clearly legendary and as far as I know, language-wise, British English is superior considering it was the first English Americans knew before evolving it.