Who starts these fads? A cottage factory of annoyances? The same people who plan endless good-bye tours for retiring baseball players?
Most fads are harmless. You have to be a cranky you-kids-get-off-my-lawn! type to waste your breath complaining about them.
But one fad needs to be called out and ended right now. The ubiquitous, irrepressible, weed-like scourge of printing words in faint gray type.
Someone — some designer who wants to show writers that their foolish little thoughts are insignificant — decided that typed words do not look good in dark ink — and instead must be rendered in faint — and ever fainter — gray.
This original-sin designer — he or she behind the movement to dial back the readability of words — comes from the same school that gave us Richard Serra’s “Tilted Arc” — that huge piece of rusted metal blocking the lunch-hour view of federal workers until they screamed for its removal. It’s the same mentality of the world’s celebrity fashion designers who tell us that clothes look best on women who are starved to the bone.
Tilted Arc. Starved models. Faint gray type. These express individual arrogance in a war against human nature.
You can add the fabled charlatan who clothed an emperor in absolutely nothing and called the outfit “new clothes.” That guy would smile knowingly if he could see people squinting to read a PowerPoint screen or menu or letter or brochure rendered faddishly in faint gray type.
brandsinger — or to be mindlessly in vogue: brandsinger