passion of the type

"well," i said," i finally did it. i can type an 's' with my nose."

and so concluded my first memory of accomplishment complete with chest bursting pride and warm fuzzies. i was in grade school, writing a paper, when i was consumed with the idea that i must type it out with my nose.

i remember sitting in my father's office chair in our laundry room, staring blankly at a ridiculously large computer box with an even more ridiculously tiny monitor. black with a tan front and dual floppy drives, it was state-of-the-art—DOS all the way, baby. it sat on the left side of my father's makeshift desk; a door propped on two filing cabinets. he was in the habit of creating elaborate designs directly onto the door. they were all swirls and loops, inked with the many Flair pens that littered the desktop. i was frequently lost in the intricacies of these decorative elements and sorely disappointed i could not mimic them. that night was no different as i traced them absently with my pudgy finger.

so there i was, wishing i were anywhere BUT there when an idea dawned on me: my paper would be much more interesting for both me AND my teacher if i typed it out with something other than my fingers. i tried several other body parts first: ears, toes, chin, etc. and despite various approaches—eyes open, eyes closed, left side, right side—unsuccessful. i have no concept of how long it took for me to meet success, but just as i did, my father came to check my progress. i had nothing to show except for a single 's' in the middle of the screen and that one matter-of-fact statement. he was beside himself with exasperation. i, on the other hand, was totally taken with my achievement.

in my mind, this accomplishment is rivaled only by the memory of me not snapping an ankle the one time i rode my bike while wearing roller skates. that particular event led nowhere. the 's' incident, as it has come to be known, was the start of a life-long obsession with all aspects of type: font, size, kerning, placement, etc. it is impossible for me to view ANYTHING without deconstructing the why's of how the information is presented. nothing can ruin a good design so fast as bad typography.

point of fact—my passion for type is so great, i had it tattooed on my person:


true stories.