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Aperiodic shower curtain

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1st Oct 2016 | 17:09

We have a periodic table shower curtain. It mostly uses Arial for its lettering, as you can see from the "R" and "C" in the heading below, though some of the lettering is Helvetica, like the "t" and "r" in the smaller caption.


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The lettering is very inconsistent. For instance, Chromium is set in a lighter weight than other elements - compare it with Copper

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Palladium is particularly special


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Platinum is Helvetica but Meitnerium is Arial - note the tops of the "t"s.

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Roentgenium is all Arial; Rhenium has a Helvetica "R" but an Arial "e"!

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It is a very distracting shower curtain.

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Comments {7}

Rachel Coleman

from: rmc28
date: 1st Oct 2016 16:36 (UTC)

I find it highly distracting because it sets off the Elements song in my head every time. I should have known it would be fonts with you <3

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A zero-width positive lookahead assertion

from: pseudomonas
date: 1st Oct 2016 18:44 (UTC)

I'm guessing they had a design that was made before the naming of the latest batch of elements, and then updated it with whatever they had handy, apparently Arial? Which doesn't explain Rhenium, though.

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 1st Oct 2016 19:06 (UTC)

No, the whole thing is erratic. Like, they used a rounded sans-serif with very clear digits for the detail on each element (I haven't identified the typeface) but the explanatory rubric is in Helvetica at a similar weight - why not the same rounded sans? And the transition metals are just a mess of not-entirely Arial. I bet many of the very similar letters are actually Helvetica but I can't tell...

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Simon Tatham

from: simont
date: 1st Oct 2016 21:37 (UTC)

From the details you describe I don't think I can construct an argument that the makers of your curtain actually did this, but the thought does occur that it would be quite fun to try to construct a periodic table with deliberately varying typography, in ways that were somehow appropriate. Font weight could vary with the density of the element, for example.

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womump

from: womump [dreamwidth.org]
date: 2nd Oct 2016 10:42 (UTC)

Closest I've found is "uchi’s Typographic Periodic Table of Elements" http://uchi.co.uk/blog/typographic-periodic-table-of-elements/

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A zero-width positive lookahead assertion

from: pseudomonas
date: 2nd Oct 2016 13:48 (UTC)

Sounds like a job for Metafont :)

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from: stephdairy
date: 3rd Oct 2016 13:01 (UTC)

I think this is a thing common to shower curtains for some reason. My tube map shower curtain has the font varying wildly all over the place. In some places it's definitely New Johnston, with proper diamond tittles, but in others it's something definitely different, with round tittles and non-circular Os...

(S)

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