Tottenham Hotspur won a league game at Wembley Stadium! Rejoice! OK, it wasn’t the BEST of matches. Sure, Harry Kane didn’t score. And fine, Spurs were a miracle reflex save from Hugo Lloris from conceding an own goal and quite possibly dropping points.
But it’s a win! Go to hell, Wembley Curse!
For today’s theme, we’re dipping a toe into my professional, non-football-blog-manager life. As part of my day job I do a fair amount of typesetting and graphic design work. Consequently, I pay close attention to, and have an affinity for, typography and the artistry of fonts.
Have you ever seen a sign, product or poster with a really good use of font? It’s great, isn’t it? Good use of typography pulls you in and reinforces the words that you are setting. You’ve also seen those god-awful cheap business signs with free fonts stolen from the web or taken directly from the default word processor font set. Good type work combined with good design can be the difference between looking professional and looking like a cheapskate.
So for today’s theme, let’s dive right into the world of typography. Here are the Tottenham Hotspur player ratings after their 1-0 win over Bournemouth at Wembley Stadium, to the theme of fonts.
NOTE: this was a really weird match to rank players. With a couple of exceptions, nobody was fantastic, and likewise nobody was egregiously terrible. Many of the players here did some things well, and other things badly, or did a couple of things well enough but were otherwise not all that special. I’d say you could make a case that any player at the 4 star level or below could be interchanged with any other player at or around the same level. Should make for a lively debate. But just remember: these are only opinions.
This is the best font. Period. No, it’s not good for everything (like books). No font is. But it is a pinnacle of excellent, sans serif font design. It’s both retro and modern. Stylish, and utilitarian. Readable, classy, and clean. Hell, they made a movie about this font (and it’s good)! I come back to this font and it’s extended family of weights again, and again, and again.
Christian Eriksen: Flat-out ran things again. His effectiveness was limited somewhat by the formation in the first half, but his goal came from a nice run from midfield, and he had the mindfulness to keep the ball after the weak tackle. Could’ve had another too after he stung Begovic’s palms later one. Wonderful stuff.
The gold standard of serif fonts. You may find fonts that you like more, but you probably won’t find serif fonts that are any better than this one. Readable, clean, and comes in a wide variety of weights and variants, all of which work well together. When I make concert programs for clients, I often show a number of different font options. More often than not, we come back to Garamond Pro.
Hugo Lloris: Wasn’t given a whole lot to do but was immense in the few shots that Bournemouth had. His reaction stop on the near-own goal in the first half was fantastic.
Want a readable sans serif font that isn’t Helvetica (or, God forbid, Arial)? Univers is a is a pretty solid choice. It’s designer is Adrian Frutiger, who also has a pretty decent font that bears his surname. You might recognize Univers in that in its condensed form it is frequently used to make London street signs.
Jan Vertonghen: Jan was great as a makeshift left back, but it was only on second viewing that I really appreciated his game. He may not like playing it, but he’s done it enough times for Belgium that you know he’ll be able to do a job, even if not as well as Davies or Rose. Got forward well, had some lovely crosses. This was also a match where he wasn’t as needed at CB.
Harry Winks: Winksy continues to impress me. He can show his youth at times by looking to play the safer pass when he could try and be more adventurous with the ball. Overall he was very solid in possession and also in partnership with Eriksen, a pairing that lacks the kind of defensive nous that you normally get in a Spurs midfield.
Eric Dier: Capable in defensive midfield beside Harry Winks, but very solid when asked to drop into the center of defense. Rarely put a foot wrong.
Moussa Sissoko: Sissoko was legit good on Saturday, tackling well and making a few gut-busting runs up the right flank. Also had some nice runs into the box; he might have scored on one such run if Dele had seen him and fed him the ball. Nice work.
Kieran Trippier: This was one of Trippier’s better matches of the season, I though. It helps that Bournemouth’s defense never really put him under a lot of pressure, which is when Trips tends to shine. The move to the back three helped him not have to be as concerned with defensive positioning and concentrate on pushing forward.
Okay, real talk? There’s nothing wrong with Times New Roman. It’s a perfectly acceptable font. Dare I say it, it’s even a good one. But if you’re like me, you spent entirely too many all-nighters in college trying to crank out term papers and the like, rubbing your temples and cursing whatever designer saw fit to sell his creation such that it became the default font in Microsoft Word. There’s a lot of baggage in that font. It still makes me involuntarily wince whenever I see it.
Toby Alderweireld: He was pretty good! That’s all I got.
Davinson Sanchez: The writer’s room is split on Davinson. I thought he had a few shaky moments defensively, notably against Josh King in the first half that make me wonder if Poch really doesn’t trust him in a back four. Others noted that he looked much more assured in the second half when he was pushed to the right. I think both are true.
Harry Kane: Not Harry’s best outing, but he did enough to stay a constant threat. Had one offside goal called back, but missed a couple of close range sitters that usually he buries. Thankfully, Spurs didn’t need his goals to win.
Calibri became Microsoft Word’s default font ten years ago. It was presumably chosen because it was a clean, readable font that would appeal to the broadest spectrum of people. And it does. Which is precisely why it’s bland as dishwater. It’s not BAD, exactly, it’s just completely and utterly MEH. Using Calibri on a resume says “I could do something to make me stand out... but I just really don’t give a s—t.”
Dele Alli: I struggled with Dele. (I struggled with all of these rankings, honestly.) I thought he was wonderful in Spurs’ press in this match, but is still off his game in Tottenham’s offense. He was trying things — header across goal, a couple of flicked volleys — but they just didn’t seem to come off. He was good on Saturday, except in all the ways that he wasn’t.
Tottenham’s 2012-13 kits were pretty solid home and away kits (spurple!), completely and utterly ruined by the godawful Aurasma logo in Bauhaus Bold font. Bauhaus Bold is an affront to typography and the club should feel awful about soiling those kits with that incredibly bad type. #LEVYOUT
Son Heung-Min: Was Sonny really this bad? IDK, maybe not. He ran around a lot! He tried really hard! But he was mostly anonymous. Apart from the pass to Eriksen that set up the goal, I can’t really think of anything particularly noteworthy that he did. He was just... there.
It boggles my mind that James Cameron can spend umpteen million dollars making a movie like Avatar, but uses a typeface like Papyrus for the main title. What, did you run out of money? Can’t afford to have your graphic designer actually come up with something original? Did you just open Microsoft Word, type something, and think “OK, that works”? Papyrus is a font that is designed to look old, but has been overused to the point where if you use it for anything it just makes you look cheap.
Thankfully, no Tottenham players were this bad. But they also haven’t made multi million dollar movies like James Cameron, so what do they know, right?
The obvious choice, though there are multiple contenders for Worst Font Ever.™ Confession time: I had my email client font set as Comic Sans from 1999 to about 2002. I know, I know. I was young and stupid, and Eudora had a limited font set. My appreciation for typography has matured along with me. All that’s to say that Comic Sans is a trash font and there is literally no situation where anyone should use it, unless the intended recipient is under 11 years old.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Comic Sans font.
Fernando Llorente, Georges-Kevin N’Koudou