The Pitfalls of Typography Decisions

Don't you just hate it when you go to work in the morning and the first thing the boss does is chew you out? Let's see what happens here.

Groan. Jenkins managed to communicate what his boss wanted to hear and what his boss needed to see at the same time. This is a genius double pun, wonderfully executed. It wouldn't work if you were trying to tell the joke out loud, and without the pictures, it would require way too much exposition.

Still, to make it work, The Jenkins had to rely on some artistic shortcuts to give meaning to the scenario. For one thing, we know that Jenkins is a reporter because he wears a hat with a note stuck in it, which only happens in movies but we recognize it as symbolic. And he's using a typewriter. So does he work for a newspaper? If so, the copy editor or the typesetter would be responsible for the text alignment. Alignment is only up to the writer if he's a blogger or some kind of online reporter that posts with no editorial input. If that was the case, he would not be wearing a hat, nor a tie (nor pants probably), nor using a typewriter, and his boss would be sending an email. So the setup is anachronistic, but it doesn't matter as long as we understand what's going on.

But you also need to know what's going on. It had to be explained to at least one commenter. Align left, align right, centered, and justified are typography terms that could completely escape someone who never changes the default settings on their word processing programs. In the age of social media, there are people who don't even know what a word processing program is.

Therefore, to appreciate the pun, you need to have some experience with movie symbolism, typography, and office culture, and the ability to put all those together without overthinking it. That makes this a thinking person's joke, crafted with care by a comic artist who knows what's needed and knows what he can get away with. And to think they call puns the lowest form of humor. This comic is from The Jenkins. -via Geeks Are Sexy ā€‹

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