Only need one typeface

Hubby and I went galivanting this past weekend, riding Metro to get to our destinations. We entered the Dupont Circle station, which he dubbed Helevticaland. The reason is obvious: the Metro system relies exclusively on that mid-century typographic heavy-weight and, in that context, makes everything seem serene and ideal, even when (as was the case Sunday) there was crowding and delays due to repairs.

Dupont Circle station. Reduced from By Used under Creative Commons Share Alike license.

Good typography makes life better, or seem better. Perhaps more than any other form, it is the people’s art. (Am I over-selling?)

When a newsletter arrives, we grade it for design and type choices. Five, six, seven? We’ve counted that many different typefaces on a single page. Not good. Sometimes, the best designed publications — and these are mostly church related, mind you — have a single typeface, using different fonts (sizes) and weights (like bold) creatively. And it doesn’t even have to be Helvetica.

Just a thought.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. I was very fortunate in college to have taken a business writing course that didn’t focus on who to cc: on memos, but rather covered things like (among others) font & style usage. The professor was a professional technical writer (or rather, he owned a company that did technical writing) and I learned much from that class. I’m almost too aware of these things when I put together a newsletter and end up getting caught in the paralysis of analysis ;)

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