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TVF Confessions

An amnesty on your deepest, darkest presentation opinions (March 2021)

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
MW
Mike W
I cannot express how much I despise Gill Sans MT and its sister fonts.

And especially how the BBC used it for a large chunk of its existence (and it is still used in a decent amount of places today.)

Just, no.

Please try; what is it you don't like about it?

For me I think it suits logotype but that's it, when the BBC (and others) were using it for every body of text everywhere it got a) a bit much and b) was difficult to read.

I have a colleague at work who uses it on everything as its her favourite, caused some issues when she put some posters up with text written in Gill Sans and Media & Marketing saw it - whose guidelines say it's Helvetica or Arial if not available.
DT
DTV
I cannot express how much I despise Gill Sans MT and its sister fonts.

And especially how the BBC used it for a large chunk of its existence (and it is still used in a decent amount of places today.)

Just, no.

Please try; what is it you don't like about it?

For me I think it suits logotype but that's it, when the BBC (and others) were using it for every body of text everywhere it got a) a bit much and b) was difficult to read.

I have a colleague at work who uses it on everything as its her favourite, caused some issues when she put some posters up with text written in Gill Sans and Media & Marketing saw it - whose guidelines say it's Helvetica or Arial if not available.


I know how she feels, I use Gill Sans Nova (up to Semibold, everything heavier is awful) for pretty much everything, it's my default even in Excel.

Although you are right that Gill can often be misused for body text. The BBC used to use the Regular/Roman weight a lot, which is just too heavy for any long length of text. Part of the issue is that Gill's original weights just do not line up with standard typographic weights, but also the failure of a lot of people to note that some typefaces are not suitable for everything. Personally, I use Regular for headings and Light for body.
MW
Mike W
DTV posted:
I cannot express how much I despise Gill Sans MT and its sister fonts.

And especially how the BBC used it for a large chunk of its existence (and it is still used in a decent amount of places today.)

Just, no.

Please try; what is it you don't like about it?

For me I think it suits logotype but that's it, when the BBC (and others) were using it for every body of text everywhere it got a) a bit much and b) was difficult to read.

I have a colleague at work who uses it on everything as its her favourite, caused some issues when she put some posters up with text written in Gill Sans and Media & Marketing saw it - whose guidelines say it's Helvetica or Arial if not available.


I know how she feels, I use Gill Sans Nova (up to Semibold, everything heavier is awful) for pretty much everything, it's my default even in Excel.

Although you are right that Gill can often be misused for body text. The BBC used to use the Regular/Roman weight a lot, which is just too heavy for any long length of text. Part of the issue is that Gill's original weights just do not line up with standard typographic weights, but also the failure of a lot of people to note that some typefaces are not suitable for everything. Personally, I use Regular for headings and Light for body.

Her issue is being public sector IT we have the MS Office weights - which are basically Regular/Roman and Bold and Ultra Bold and not much else.
AL
AaronLancs
I don't know if it has been said but when the BBC came up with BBC Reith in all of its forms. Am I the only one who wished they went all in with it in one go? A bit like how they did with Gill Sans. Also am I the only one who actually like the type face / font?

(Prepares for Rob to revoke my TV Live Forum membership before it gets started with liking something controversial)
JO
johnnyboy Founding member
I don't know if it has been said but when the BBC came up with BBC Reith in all of its forms. Am I the only one who wished they went all in with it in one go? A bit like how they did with Gill Sans. Also am I the only one who actually like the type face / font?

(Prepares for Rob to revoke my TV Live Forum membership before it gets started with liking something controversial)


I think your citizenship should be revoked at the same time for coming out with a statement like that, sir.
AL
AaronLancs
I don't know if it has been said but when the BBC came up with BBC Reith in all of its forms. Am I the only one who wished they went all in with it in one go? A bit like how they did with Gill Sans. Also am I the only one who actually like the type face / font?

(Prepares for Rob to revoke my TV Live Forum membership before it gets started with liking something controversial)


I think your citizenship should be revoked at the same time for coming out with a statement like that, sir.

Ha ha.

Well kind of along a slightly tangential line. I also happen to like the most controversial album that my favourite music artist put out (mainly because of the "poor production" that others say the album has). So all in all I kind of like the oddities in life.
DT
DTV
I don't know if it has been said but when the BBC came up with BBC Reith in all of its forms. Am I the only one who wished they went all in with it in one go? A bit like how they did with Gill Sans. Also am I the only one who actually like the type face / font?


I have no problem with it as a general font, it works perfectly well for body text and on-screen graphics. I just feel it doesn't work for logos - because the letterforms lack the distinctive character and uumph that is needed for a good title font. And that's fine, very few typefaces can do general use and design work - Futura is a great example as, in all its weights, it can look great if used on a few words, but is just disastrous when used for long chunks of text.

At the end of the day, Reith Sans is a very good generic 2010s humanist typeface. But it is just that.

Her issue is being public sector IT we have the MS Office weights - which are basically Regular/Roman and Bold and Ultra Bold and not much else.


Yeah, MT isn't exactly the best incarnation of Gill. And, I'll be first to admit that, despite my love of certain weights of Gill Sans, it is a very mixed family - there is no love lost between me and the heavier weights of Gill Sans or the Condensed or Expanded versions.
DO
dosxuk
I find Gill Sans a very nice print font, but not a great display font. In common with lots of fonts in the same situation, it can look good on screen when used for headings and large text, but when it's used for body text it just doesn't look nice.

It annoys me that so many sites these days just use random fonts off Google Fonts, without the "designer" ever casting a critical eye over the font quality. There's so many fonts on there which are horrible when used in small sizes on screens, but so many people seem to think Google putting them up is a sign of quality.

Can we all just agree to ignore the horrific ultra bold variation that should be launched into the sun.

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