Wednesday, September 28, 2011

drawing some type...yes, a type nerd

I have come to terms with knowing that my loves in this world include type faces. Typography is a never ending source of joy. There is an organization of lines and spaces that is both comforting and beautiful. My earliest memories of me taking a shine to this lettering stuff could be traced back to my father's occupation. He was trained to be a civil engineer but because of his people skills was bumped into the marketing department (marketing for engineering firms has little to do with cool advertising, logos and letterhead and more to do with drinking heavily with county commissioners and golfing 3-4 days a week). Anyhow, those doing the real engineering work had offices down the hall and my brother and I would mess around with the tools when accompanying my dad on one of his many evening runs back to the office. The electric erasers never got boring and were quite dangerous. Maps would be out on desks and on the walls. The topographic maps were amazing to look at and those patterns still draw me in. Even though all the mapping was done pre-computer, it had this machined look to it. The handwriting was in all caps. The capital E's were so different than what I was doing and it all looked so much more interesting than how I was writing things. My father wrote this way as well. I have vivid memories of him writing names and numbers onto a Sinking Valley Country Club score card or him keeping score at the Pleasant Valley Bowling Lanes (or alley, not sure of title). His handwriting was just better to look at than other peoples. It is why I don't recall anyone else writing in an interesting way. By the time I hit junior high, I began attempting to copy his style. I forced my self to slowly write out homework and other tasks using only caps. I watched how he would form the individual letters. How he would begin a capital E with a capital L and add two more horizontal lines.
At this point I know I have title this post correctly. Nerd is spot-on.
Over the years I find that I still prefer all caps and use them when writing for students on my dry-erase board.
Thanks Dad....for everything.
I would just like to add one other strange little quirk from his bowling score-keeping style (this is also a man who had little to no style in any other facet of his life). He would not draw an X for strikes. He would color in the small square completely with a mix of short and very controlled horizontal and vertical lines. A complete scorecard would be something I would now consider framing and displaying in a prominent location in my home.

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