McMaster Unibersity With alternative options available, settling for awkward font is not good enough

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Two fonts are used for graduation degrees. No one has a problem with Goudy Text Std. It is clean, efficient and has a decent enough backstory as far as fonts go as it is a modification from 1928 that was adapted and changed from the Gutenberg Bible.

This is a fine enough connection considering McMaster’s origins if you care enough about where your diploma font came from. However, a lot of people have issues with the second font called Linotext STD.

The problem is that the “v” in “University” looks like a “b” instead. While it certainly was a popular font for its time when it was created in 1901, it does not make a lot of sense to put it front and center on a large portion of diplomas of those graduating.

It makes even less that they would differentiate the degrees to one that has less clarity in its presentation. Their reasoning for why there are two templates was, “Due to availability…” which is a weak excuse.

While there are issues with some alternatives, for example, the “U” in “University” not being as sensible as I would like it to be in Gutenberg, it is not difficult to find plenty of other fonts that may have worked better.

The one used on the other template works well enough despite the “v” being a bit too rounded like a “u” for my tastes.

If you want to stick with the same designer as Linotext, Morris Fuller Benton, then Linoscript would be fine enough though a bit too modern.  Engravers Old English BT Std Regular, another by Benton, also plays on the same style while being inspired by a classic design called Caslon Black, created by William Caslon in 1760.

There are enough alternative options out there after a brief skim that I am sure you would be able to find even more if you put additional time and effort into it.

It is simply awkward and confusing why they would settle on a two template system and have one of those be legibly inferior. It should not be that hard to come up with a font mimicking the style they want without looking like a typo or joke.

While stating, “The Registrar’s Office meticulously hand checks every diploma not only for spelling but for any possible quality issue such as marks, smudges, misalignments or anything which might mar the diploma, or in any way diminish its presentation or the pride with which it is regarded by its recipient,” is nice, it would have been better to see that attention to deal come forward in the big picture.

It was simply a poor choice.

 

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Author: Shane Madill

As a graduate of McMaster’s Economics program and the Editor-in-Chief for Volume 88, Shane is a seasoned Silhouette contributor who formerly acted as an Opinion Editor, Online Editor, Online Reporter and Andy Volunteer. A man of many names and talents, his presence and work at The Silhouette is a constant reminder to “be the Shane you wish to see in the world.”