Last week the U.S. Navy undertook a rescue mission, recovering three men who had been stranded on a desert island. The unlucky trio had set sail from Pulap, an atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia, and their boat was reportedly capsized by a large wave. The men swam overnight until they miraculously reached Fanadik, a deserted island. After spelling out "HELP" in the sand using palm fronds, they managed to be seen by a Navy spotter plane, and the men were subsequently rescued.
But not everyone is happy. "When I saw the image, I was outraged," said [REDACTED], a Professor of Graphic Design & Typology at [REDACTED]. "Look at the font—it looks like some kind of bastardized Verdana. It's horrific. This just goes to show you how poor the state of global design education is. The way that they have rendered the letters is disrespectful to our profession and completely dismissive of the great strides typology has made.
"From what I understand, these men were trapped on the island for three days," the professor continued. "Three days is more than enough to take the time to get it right, which these men apparently could not be bothered to do. The cap height is inconsistent, to say nothing of the letting. The 'P' is barely worthy of the letter. In fact I can barely read it—what does it say? 'HEL' next to a drawing of a flag?"
Students are upset, too. "I found it really offensive," said [REDACTED], a third-year Graphic Design major at [REDACTED]. "It was really inconsiderate because it reminded me of a crit I had as a sophomore, where I tried creating a 'P' that was similar to what these men made and I just got completely attacked for it. Seeing this image just triggered all of those memories.
"I'm completely traumatized," the student continued. "These men should be ashamed of themselves, the same way I was shamed at that crit. Also, these men were rescued. Who's going to rescue my feelings?" The student is contemplating suing the photographer, the U.S. Navy and the men.
Social justice warriors have also entered the fray. "That these men chose to write these words [sic] in English is despicable," said [REDACTED], a self-described SJW with several hundred thousand Twitter followers. "These men sailed out of Micronesia, why not write it in Micronesianese?
"Micronesia has a beautiful culture," the warrior added. "It's where they invented the microphone, the microscope and a lot of other things. So for these people to write it in English only reinforces America's global cultural hegemony." The warrior adds that the men should be fired from their jobs, but that he's not exactly sure what they do for a living.
Core77 managed to reach out to the former castaways, who are currently recovering from their ordeal, for comment. They sent us back the following photo:
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Well I got a laugh out of it! Nice one Rain!
Would have been a great April 1st post :)
Right on PAR! Brilliant article RAIN :-)
this is cute, but the correct term for talking about fonts is typography; typology is a different word that has nothing to do with letters. Also, "letting" is incorrect; I assume you meant "leading" (which originated in the old days of metal typesetting when a bar of lead was placed between lines of type), and I think you meant kerning or tracking, which refer to the space between letters, since leading does not apply in the case of one word. your piece is clever but my enjoyment of it was marred by these very basic mistakes. Also, You forget to mention the biggest problem with the "HELP" message: use of palm fronds for a desert island rescue sign is so cliched! They should have looked around for something really unusual to use to make their message really memorable and distinctive!
This is gold.
You made my day - awesome article :)