Our junior designer search is drawing to a close, so it’s time to announce the winner of our typeface popularity contest. Wondering what we’re talking about? Well whenever we make a job posting we like to include a fun little question like “Who is your favorite designer?” or “What’s your favorite typeface?” Not only do these questions tell us who takes the time to read directions (and more importantly, who doesn’t), but it also provides an interesting insight into the applicant’s style and preferences. And of course it also provides us with wonderful, wonderful data which we love playing with and designing.
So which typeface won, after several weeks (or months) of voting? Well, really it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone – Helvetica. The typeface everyone loves or loves to hate, it’s hard to argue with Helvetica’s adaptability and simple elegance. Futura and Akzidenz Grotesk (which was actually a precursor to Helvetica) gave it a run for its money during the past couple of weeks, but the old standby pulled ahead in the end. Here’s some fun data!
There are some obvious conclusions one can draw from this information. While generally more people preferred sans serif to serif typefaces, they also tended to prefer the same sans serif typefaces, whereas folks were all over the place with serifs (despite sans getting more votes overall, there were actually more individual serif typefaces chosen). That’s why most of the serifs are clustered on the right side of the first graph. Could this perhaps be because lots of serif typefaces end up looking very similar to each other, especially to the untrained (or semi-trained) eye? We’re not entirely sure!
In terms of typefaces per century, we credit the huge numbers 1900 onward almost entirely to the advent of the personal computer and the advertising boom. The only typefaces that have stuck around since 1500 – 1800 are super-classics like Bodoni or Baskerville that are so simple and timeless they never look dated. We imagine a lot of the fonts from 1900 onward may not have quite the same staying power.
While were were calculating all this up, we also thought it’d be interesting to look at response rates for the different sexes. “Do men and women prefer different styles of fonts?” we wondered. Unfortunately we hadn’t thought to track that data over the past couple of months, so Ian spent an unnecessarily lengthy amount of time going through every single application we’ve received to come up with some numbers.
Turns out it was somewhat of a worthless endeavor – male and female applicants have basically the same preferences. To borrow a phrase from Douglas Adams, we’re RISPWOSO (The ripe Institute of Slowly and Painfully Working Out the Surprisingly Obvious). Oh well.
Also the overall response rate is amusing – the 24% who didn’t respond almost automatically ended up in our rejection pile. Why hire someone who doesn’t read or follow directions?
So thanks to everyone who applied and gave us an answer! Data is always fun, but Ian is ready to stop tracking responses for awhile.
Earlier this week Tomas spent a rainy morning art directing a photo and video shoot with one of our new clients – the National Restaurant Association. We’re working with them on a fun little project and we’ve been having a blast.
The video portion was an interview with the NRA’s CEO Dawn Sweeny who did an amazing job. We tried various different lighting setups and made a bunch of on-the-fly modifications to the script, but she nailed it every time and looked great doing it. Props to the award-winning Brandon Bray and Dave Barker for the excellent video and photography work, and also to Tica who did a fantastic job with makeup and styling. Additional thanks to some other folks on the NRA marketing and design team for their hard work – thanks Adrienne and Tim!
And one more thank you then we’re done, promise – thanks Michael Sternberg (owner of Market Tavern in Clarendon) for letting us use your beautiful dining room for the shoot!