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Entry no.: 40

10 Sep 2006, 8:48 PM

Tags: , ,

Comments: 2

Design Follow the money

Uncovering the genocide

While in a previous post I was pointing toward an anonymous drive-by hit-and-run, my friend Bogdan takes a step further and authoritatively exhumes the prominent victims of a high-profile genocide—nicely embalmed corpses we're happy to carry around each and every one of us, everyday, as a zombified bunch of ignorant undertakers.

As Bogdan Dumitrache puts it:

Lack of diacritics? Well, today I changed my mind regarding the topic. After I've seen them used wrong on the Romanian banknotes—look at the caron instead of breve in "BANCA NATIONAL ..."—and in many other public places, I think I prefer them not tő bê ŭşed åt ãll.

The A-caron doesn't even exists in any language. I guess they worked a bit to make it wrong, haha!

Now for the forensics enthusiasts, here it is, the body (looking alive to the untrained eye):

Typography crime on Romanian banknote

Enlarged, the inconspicuous plague that caused the death becomes hideously obvious (not for the fain of heart), the infamous A-caron:

Typography crime on Romanian banknote - A-caron detail

What a massacre—right on the money!

For the foreign readers: the correct spelling is BANCA NAȚIONALĂ A ROMÂNIEI (The National Bank of Romania), where the "Ă" (A-breve) in NAȚIONALĂ was sloppily replaced with an "Ǎ" (A-caron), a letter that doesn't exist in Romanian language. It may seem like a small thing, but it's not. Misusing the language on official items is a bad thing and quite a shame. A banknote is an important national symbol and ignorantly designing it reflects a general lack of respect for the country, a bit like wiping your ass with the flag.

So much for the "money talks" proverb—it talks gibberish sometimes, it seems. And in the meanwhile "money is the root of all evil" proves right once again. Thank you, Bogdan, for your sharp eye.

Now for real, joke aside: let's make a wall of shame, a place somewhere all this bad design can be exposed, e.g. as an on-line gallery of horrors. There are plenty of them, in those free glossy magazines, on posters and I've even seen some horrendous A-tilde (Ã) supers on TV (ProTV seems to excel in this regard, it seems). It would be a public service announcement that many (especially young) designers could benefit from. I'm seriously thinking about hosting or at least mirroring it.


Update: More on this subject in Romanian diacritic marks article.

Comments

Reply no.: 1

27 Oct 2008, 2:02 AM

"Romanian diacritic marks" at Kit·blog:

How did we end up looking half-illiterate? Lack of standards, wrong standards and then slow adoption of good standards—no wonder the Romanian diacritics turned into an endangered species. Magazine headlines, television supers...

Read more in Romanian diacritic marks »

Reply no.: 2

30 Jun 2010, 9:53 AM

"Romanian diacritic marks" at Kit·blog:

How did we end up looking half-illiterate? Lack of standards, wrong standards and then slow adoption of good standards—no wonder the Romanian diacritics turned into an endangered species. Magazine headlines, television supers...

Read more in Romanian diacritic marks »

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