When Al Gore Calls

Could you imagine what it must be like to have a former or current sitting President or Vice President call you to ask that you modify something you’ve done?

Last summer, I received a phone call from Michael, a designer from mgmtdesign in Brooklyn, New York. After the initial how-do-you-do’s, he explained that they were designing a new book for Al Gore, Our Choice, the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth.
They had chosen Brioni, one of our typefaces, for the body text.
“And this is why I am calling now”, said Michael, his voice dropping a level. “You see, Al is really involved with the project and we spend a lot of time working together in the publisher’s office. When he was reviewing the proofs, he had a comment about the typeface.”
I took a deep breath and asked what the comment was.
“Basically, he wants you to change the numeral one.”
“Interesting”, I said. “And how did he come to this conclusion?”
“Well, in the book there’re a lot of examples of scientific nomenclature and this particular numeral one is causing confusion when it’s combined with capitals.”
Brioni is a book typeface and comes with old style figures. Because of the fairly low x-height, the numeral one looks like a Roman one, like a shorter version of a capital letter I. It looks very elegant, but when combined into acronyms, it could be confusing.

I reckon when Al Gore calls, you get right on that project.

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