The Arial Font

The type on this blog is styled in the Arial font. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Arial, sometimes marketed or displayed in software as Arial MT, is a sans-seriftypeface and set of computer fonts. Fonts from the Arial family are packaged with all versions of Microsoft Windows, some other Microsoftsoftware applications,[1]AppleMac OS X[2] and many PostScript 3 computer printers.[3] The typeface was designed in 1982 by a 10-person team, led by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders, for Monotype Typography.

The Arial typeface comprises many styles: Regular, Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Black, Black Italic, Extra Bold, Extra Bold Italic, Light, Light Italic, Narrow, Narrow Italic, Narrow Bold, Narrow Bold Italic, Condensed, Light Condensed, Bold Condensed, and Extra Bold Condensed. The extended Arial type family includes even more styles: Rounded (Light, Regular, Bold, Extra Bold); Monospaced (Regular, Oblique, Bold, Bold Oblique). Many of these have been issued in multiple font configurations with different degrees of language support. The most widely used and bundled Arial fonts are Arial Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, along with the same styles of Arial Narrow, plus Arial Black and Black Italic. More recently Arial Rounded has also been widely bundled.

Hmm. I wonder what the history of the Arial font is:

IBM debuted two printers for the in-office publishing market in 1982: the 240-DPI 3800-3 laserxerographic printer, and the 600-DPI 4250 electro-erosion laminate typesetter.[8][9] Monotype was under contract to supply bitmap fonts for both printers.[5][8] The fonts for the 4250, delivered to IBM in 1983,[10] included Helvetica, which Monotype sub-licensed from Linotype.[8] For the 3800-3, Monotype substituted Helvetica with Arial.[8] The hand-drawn Arial artwork was completed in 1982 at Monotype by a 10-person team led by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders[4][11] and was digitized by Monotype at 240 DPI expressly for the 3800-3.[12]

IBM named the font Sonoran Sans Serif due to licensing restrictions and the manufacturing facility’s location (Tucson, Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert),[5][13] and announced in early 1984 that the Sonoran Sans Serif family, “a functional equivalent of Monotype Arial,” would be available for licensed use in the 3800-3 by the fourth quarter of 1984. There were initially 14 point sizes, ranging from 6 to 36, and four style/weight combinations (Roman medium, Roman bold, italic medium, and italic bold), for a total of 56 fonts in the family. Each contained 238 graphic characters, providing support for eleven national languages: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. Monotype and IBM later expanded the family to include 300-DPI bitmaps and characters for additional languages.

In 1989, Monotype produced PostScript Type 1 outline versions of several Monotype fonts,[10] but an official PostScript version of Arial was not available until 1991.[citation needed] In the meantime, a company called Birmy marketed a version of Arial in a Type 1-compatible format.[7][14]

In 1990, Robin Nicholas, Patricia Saunders[4][11] and Steve Matteson developed a TrueType outline version of Arial which was licensed to Microsoft.[10][15][16]

In 1992, Microsoft chose Arial to be one of the four core TrueType fonts in Windows 3.1, announcing the font as an “alternative to Helvetica”.[10][11][17]

Sounds like a lot of work went into the creation of the Arial font. As a result, I won’t waste a single character of it writing about Jordany Valdespin.

But if you’d like to hear how he blew up after his recent demotion to Triple-A, you can read about it here.

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Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.
  1. Dan B July 15, 2013 at 8:10 am
    I agree that the Valdespin story is a non-story. However, up for discussion is how the Mets handled the situation as it represents team philosophy and gets multiplied over and over across the organization. I never heard a Met reaction to Valdespin that resembles proper grooming. If they threw up their hands, they should of released him. Player development is too important to just blame the player’s attitude.
    • Joe Janish July 15, 2013 at 10:22 am
      Agreed. Valdespin had similar outbursts and behavior issues at every step of his career, and every time he was slapped mildly, then rewarded. Basically the Mets said, “hey, we’d prefer you didn’t act that way, so you’re going to sit a few games, but we’re still going to send you up to the next level because we think you’re talented.”

      Why would he change his attitude if he didn’t have to?

      By the way there is another detail to the Valdespin blow-up that is on AmazinAvenue; I won’t share the link because it’s not family-friendly.

      • Walnutz15 July 15, 2013 at 11:20 am
        Why not —- not really a big deal that he called Collins a cork-soaker……wait…….that’s not what he called him!

        Amazin’ stuff here…..but not really. The hallmark of it all: the unsurprising theme of the Mets keeping guys around for long periods of time, for no apparent reason.

        I supported more playing time for him in the past, while keeping his “amusing” nature in mind. However, I was always realistic about him not being very smart — and that he was “productive” amidst the other crap we watched last season.

        The real time to “ride” him (which was really last year, during the PH surge —- or even a bit more earlier on this year, when the outfield situation was in a true state of chaos) has long past..

        ……otherwise – you can’t come back from this kind of thing if you’re playing in a real Major League organization.

        So long, ‘Spin!

        “Adam Rubin ?@AdamRubinESPN

        Last thing on topic because I don’t want to pile on, but you won’t believe the stories that will come out if there’s ever a trade/release”

        Looking forward to them.

        It’s comical, though – that they willingly choose to keep guys like this around, even funnier when it’s to PINCH HIT exclusively, amidst an everyday working ballclub.

        Giving a tour of the locker room:

        “This is our pinch-hitter. He doesn’t really need to be here, and causes problems everyday. We’re pleased with him.”

        ………………awkward silence…………………..

        • Paul Festa July 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm
          Yup. No idea why they kept him around this long.
  2. Sidd Finch July 15, 2013 at 11:31 am
    They’ve probably kept him around because the Wilpon’s probably figured he’d appeal to a particular market segment of Mets fans. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jeff didn’t see him as the next Jose Reyes. The main differences being that Reyes was uniquely talented, funny, high-spirited and a true leadoff hitter–all the things Valdespin was not. But when you’re pushing your own personal agenda why let anything like the facts get in the way of your own ego.
    • Paul Festa July 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm
      The difference between Valdy and Reyes is kind of like the difference between Evil Kirk and Good Kirk in that old Star Trek episode. Personality-wise, anyway.

      The real differences are the ones you listed, of course.

  3. Sidd Finch July 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm
    Aside from his 2011 season at Binghamton he was really no great shakes in the minors either.
  4. NormE July 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm
    Hey Paul,
    Are we getting a pop-quiz on the Arial font? Or is it a take-home test? Either way I’m better prepared than JV. Or even TC.
    • Paul Festa July 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm
      I got it from Wikipedia, so it MUST be true.
  5. Joe Janish July 15, 2013 at 9:37 pm
    And here I was thinking about changing the blog’s font to Helvetica. After such a detailed diatribe on Arial, we’re going to have to keep it for at least a few more weeks.


    Nicely played, Paul!

    • crozier July 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm
      Swapping Arial out for Helvetica would be a change so subtle that only the typographers would notice. Such a change would be Metsian in scope, making as much impact as, say, replacing Cowgill with Ankiel. So personally I’m glad you didn’t go to the trouble.

      As to the actual topic at hand, I would swap out Valdespin for a Gregg Jeffries type any day. I mean, if you’re going to be a crybaby, at least have a few productive AB’s to go with it. If a Jeffries type isn’t available, a case of PBR would suffice.

      • Joe Janish July 15, 2013 at 11:42 pm
        HA! This may be one of the best comment replies of the month. You made me laugh out loud — twice — thanks, I needed it!
    • Paul Festa July 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm
      I now have a newly found respect for the font…
  6. Izzy July 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm
    Funny, or is it absolutely pathetic and bigoted the Met organization has become under alderson and company. Last year, who did they single out and lambast for coming to camp ON TIME.. Hmm, it was Tejada. . Then later in the year they bring up Valdespin and can’t blast him because he become3s a miracle man off the bench, but then this year, who is at fault for the horrid team they have. Tejada and Valdespin. Tejada, with a bad first half suddenly is ricalined as not part of the core even tho he was goiung to make us all forget Jose, who by the way was treated as the anti Wright, or was he treated as the anti White? And then Badlespin. He is the evil entity they kept around for half a year for the rest of the team and Collins to berate regularly. No matter that Danny boy Murphy and Ike Davis spend more time pouting than playing when things go bad. Nothing about Davis’ poor attitude when he gets demoted, and comes back for absolutely no reason two weeks later. Nothing about Marcum hiding injuries. No problem they are all the right stuff. Or maybe they are all the White stuff. Was a word said about Ike walking to first to guarantee a double play Sunday. Gee, what if it would have been Valdespin. Oh wait, the one thing he always did was hustle. Was there a word about Murphy’s little league running at third Sunday Nah… He’s the Murph. Its funny when he screws up once a game. He looks good with his dumb look and dirty uni after the screw ups./. Gee now that the two evisl are gone, whose next for Alderson and Collins. Better not cool off Marlon…….
    • crozier July 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm
      Oh, Izzy. I don’t even know where to start. Tejada was part of the core? In what universe? Showing up late to camp without a good reason is bush league, and he deserved to be called out. His first half was abominable, and few organizations would have tolerated it as long as this club did. Also, last I checked, his replacement is a 30+ yr. old Hispanic.

      Reyes was the anti-Wright? If I recall, Wilpon dissed both players in the New Yorker piece, referring to Wright – one of the best third basemen of the era – as “not great.” May he live long enough to see Wright enshrined in the Hall and eat his words.

      Murphy has never been cited as a core player, either, and it’s likely he’s now nothing more than a stop gap until Flores – again, not a white dude – replaces him.

      Valdespin isn’t evil, he’s a child, and has no place on the team. Comparing JV to either Davis or Murphy is laughable. The apt comparison is Baxter, who likewise worked hard for something more than a bit part on the team, and like JV was disproportionately glorified for a couple key moments. Baxter got demoted after failing to execute a bunt. Pretty sure race didn’t play a role in that decision either. But I’m sure if he weren’t white, you’d be all over that one as well.

    • DaveSchneck July 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm
      Really? You may be the only one I know villifying Tejada and blaming him for the season. Anyone paying attention can tell that he was lousy on both sides of the ball this year, something even apparent to him. It is also the second year in a row missing signifcant time due to injury. He hasn’t been released, but at 23, sent back to AAA to improve. No crime, no racism, just baseball. Regarding Ike, again, anyone paying attention has criticized him for being a crybaby at the plate, taking his woes into the field, and not hustling. Duda has been a big disappointment as well. Cowgill is gone. Baxter is farmed out for the reasons Crozier noted above. Spin has not performed well and shown continued immaturity as a marginal player. He got sent to the minors, that’s baseball. To me, it seems that the anti-latino sentiment as it relates to the 2013 Mets is manufactured.
  7. NormE July 17, 2013 at 12:31 am
    So, Izzy, all this time what your criticism of Alderson boils down to is that he is a white guy replacing Minaya, a hispanic. How sad.