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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Typography for Lawyers

This one goes out to all of the non-design family members out there in the Com Design blogoshpere who imagine that typography—or worse yet, design itself—is mere highfalutin dandyism.

Matthew Butterick is not only a Harvard educated designer, but he is also a lawyer practicing in Los Angeles. This unique combination gives him the expertise and insight to tackle the typographic netherworld of legal documentation. His site articulately defines specific typographic concerns and best practices for remedying them. Remedies which are not just typographically ‘correct’, but that effect the very essence of the debate, discourse and argument that lies at the heart of our legal system.

The site is an interesting read from a typographer’s point of view as well. The range of typefaces that legal documents are allowed to be presented in by particular states is rather interesting (or disturbing, depending on your point of view). The true crime and punishment in our legal system may in fact be typographic. I can only imagine how punishing it would be to read hundreds of pages of legal arguments and research in 14 point Courier! Egad!