You want to sell mittens and galoshes? Distinguished tradition isn’t much use. When possible, give people what they want. A headline with snow may help.
T he alphabet has a style for every need. For dignity, the style of Roman inscriptions is unsurpassed. To attempt the limits of human skill, people have decorated letters almost beyond recognition in some of the world’s greatest manuscript books.
More than a code for text, the alphabet has developed through the centuries into a splendid medium of expression. Even the greeting card with pink pigs from your friend Henry had a printed message that was made to look silly expressly to match his sense of humour. I think it’s marvellous, and doubt any permanent damage was done to our heritage.
A few colleagues of mine have been driven to despair over some lovely letters with snow on top that are used in winter advertising. These things did not come about by accident. No designer consciously decided to forfeit his reputation and go down in history wearing a fool’s cap. They were made because people wanted them, and it is because people still do that they are used every year as the weather gets cold.