Two puzzles have crossed my path this week:
1) Why is Gill Sans winning out over Helvetica? (If it is, and, come on, it is.) Long the visual language of public institutions in the UK (the subway, especially), it looked until recently (to me at least) a little out of touch. But now it seems to be to have all the punchy clarity of the sans-serif regime without giving away the ability to evoke something bigger than the message at hand.
There is a follow up question: will Gary Hustwit ever make a documentary about it of the kind he made for Helvetica? I would so love to see this documentary. The Helvetica doc is a thing of wonder. “Gill Sans” as a follow-up doc would have lots more historical depth and charm. No modernist hoodlum this.
2) Why is that in at least two instances in popular culture, the role of the guardian angel is occupied by a psychopath. I refer to Dexter and the BBC show Luther, and in the case of Luther specifically to the character Alice Morgan. Strictly speaking, the last person who should serve in this capacity is a psychopath, but somehow in our culture right now, the notion is not implausible.
Anyone want to write fewer-than-a-thousand words on either topic (or for the very daring both at once) should send it to me and if it’s really good, you will win a Minerva.
Thanks to Wikipedia for the Gill Sans Demo.