THE REAL CRIME OF ALL-CAPS
SINCE THE ADVENT OF THE INTERNET, MANY ESSAYS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT GOOD MANNERS ON THE NET — “NETIQUETTE” — AND EVERY ONE OF THEM HAVE REASONED WITH YOU THAT TYPING IN ALL-CAPS RUBS PEOPLE THE WRONG WAY BECAUSE IT GIVES THEM THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU ARE YELLING YOUR MESSAGE.
While the metaphor of an e-mail screaming at you is oh-so funny and just perfect to liven up an otherwise boring guide to good e-manners, what does the field of design say about it? Why is it so annoying and difficult to read more than a headline in all-caps?
Well, it has to do with a little something called “word recognition.” It’s the way we all read. Learning to read begins with letter recognition — sounding out words — and then gradually works up to recognizing letter groupings: visually identifying a word by the unique shape that its lowercase characters create. Words in all-caps have a less distinct shape to them, uniformly rectangular. They’re just not as easy to differentiate one from the next; hence a slow and tedious read.
Compare the shapes in the two paragraphs after they’ve been reduced to rough forms.
Ultimately, readers even acquire the skill of recognizing whole groupings of words — “as much as” is a simple example — which makes the whole process even faster!
So, try using lots of exclamations (!) if you want to yell at length!!!! All-caps just makes your rant harder to read.
This Just In…
Credit Cards? Accepted!
Say goodbye to saying “Ch-ching!” Say hello to “Fffft!” That’s the oh-so modern sound of a freshly swiped credit card, and you can hear it happening now at Rigney Graphics.
Yes, that’s right, put that logo redesign on plastic, charge that website to your Amex, forget about cheques and just say “Fffft!”
Will the wonders ever cease? No, they won’t — stay tuned for more.
Sea Monkey see, Sea Monkey do!
We can all recall the good ol’ Sea Monkey ads of yesteryear; the loveable caricatures of the royal family of brine shrimp described as being adorable pets that are eager to please, full of tricks, and able to be taught to obey your commands like a pack of friendly trained seals (this probably meant flicking the glass).
A picture of an actual Sea Monkey (brine shrimp).
All dubious claims or depictions aside, these ads made their way into our young, naive hearts and hence into our culture. And, while Rigney Graphics has no affiliation with Sea Monkeys or sea-monkeys.com, we still wanted to highlight their website, so you too can be amazed and delighted at just how far into the 21st century the Sea Monkey family has come!
You honestly won’t believe it!