Make an effort if you plan to set something in stone

Recently, I accompanied my mother to a stonemason to finalise details for my father’s headstone.

Recently, I accompanied my mother to a stonemason to finalise details for my father’s headstone.

Imagine my horror when, after instructing the manager on the wording, we were presented with a printout that used an illegible script font. I asked if they had classic faces such as Bodoni or Bembo. Unsure, the manager instructed the youth responsible for typesetting, who appeared with the setting in Baskerville.

However, the Bible text had been set in pseudo italic. I asked if he had the true italic font. He returned with the setting in Baskerville italic – but he retained the pseudo italic 15º slant.

I asked if the stonemason would correct the kerning errors. ‘Oh no,’ the manager replied. ‘What you see is what will appear on the stone. It’s all done by computer.’

The thought of £1000 worth of South African granite engraved with poorly spaced Comic Sans made me light-headed. Dizzy with typographic atrocities, I stumbled out on to the street.

Julian Smith

Designer

Sussex BN11 2HF

Latest articles