Maybe They Were Thinking “Little Mermaid”

Written by Mark Simonson on May 13, 2004

MacWorld UK is polling their readers: “If you were going to name your child after a font which one would it be?” So far, Arial is in the lead.

See also: No, I am Not Planning to Name My Child After a Font, but…

Mark Simonson of Saint Paul, Minnesota, is a former art director and graphic designer who now makes his living designing typefaces — several of which are Typographica selections.


  1. ACJ says:

    I voted Helvetica, though it’s more likely I will one day be calling a type face after one of my (yet to be born… or made, for that matter) children.

  2. jlt says:

    I’m seriously considering “Hank Extended.”

  3. Toby says:

    Comic Sans

  4. Brian says:

    I always though helvetica would be a pretty girl’s name. Geneva sounds nice, too, now that I think of it.

    Fluted Serif? Come on…

  5. Craig Kirk says:

    ive always thought helvetica was a perfect name for a cat.

    think about it.

    “here helvetica! here kitty-kitty! helvetica!”

    and variations would work very well for multiple cats, like helvetica black, bold, light, etc.

  6. Hrant says:

    > �If you were going to name your child
    > after a font which one would it be?ďż˝

    The one that looks like a font.


  7. Mike D. says:

    Jeez, are we only talking about system fonts here? C’mon!

    If it’s a boy: Lord Haw Haw

    If it’s a girl: Banshee

    If it’s androgenous: Shithouse

  8. Carlton says:

    Optima gets my vote.

  9. I�m seriously thinking in House-A-Rama Kingpin :-)

  10. toby stokes says:

    Weren’t Joanna & Perpetua named after Gill’s daughters?

    That strikes me as a better approach ďż˝ design a typeface and name it after your child…

  11. Kai Bernau says:

    Venus, Gill, Aldus, Poliphilus, Dante, etc, but these are obviously Children named after Fonts named after People. hmm.

    Candida. Diotima. Electra. Futura. but these owe their meaning to latin words.

    Castrated boy: Berlin Sans
    Fat girl: Fette Fraktur
    Has acne: Clearface
    Small boy: Lo-Type

    and seriously, it becomes more difficult when you want to name your kid after a typeface you really like.

  12. Kai Bernau says:

    And of course, if I should ever steal a kid and make it my own, i shall name her Segoe.

  13. Jacques Le Bailly says:

    My son is Quay…


  14. I’ve seriously tried to talk my wife into Pilcrow as a middle name for years. Next kid :D

  15. Matthew Amster-Burton says:

    I didn’t name my daughter after a font, but it occurred to me that there has to be a font with her name, and there is.

    Linotype Iris

    It’s rather spindly, though. Now, gotta go–Linotype just woke up. (Sorry.)

  16. Hmm, I would, maybe, name my little girl Zoďż˝ ‘Dalliance‘, if I had one.. :) And she would be ‘Splendid‘ and beautiful, for sure..

  17. Well there’s no chance that I’m ever going to have children, so I have surrogate children in the form of my two cats, who, as it happens, are both named after typefaces for real:

    “Mrs Eaves” (masseuse) and “Columbus” (masseuree?)

  18. Michael Bouchard says:

    It’s a bit of a coincidence, but my son’s name is Cooper. And of course, when I made a small site for him, what font did I use? Cooper Black of course.

  19. Toby, I like your thought…
    Please don’t forget P. Scott Makelaďż˝s Carmella.
    A beautiful daughter with a namesake typeface.

    Also Peter Matthias Noordzij’s Caecilia after
    his wife, Marie-C�cile Noordzij-Pulles.

  20. It’s arguably more interesting to turn this around somewhat.

    A co-worker’s daughter is named Lydia, and she was quite thrilled when I sent her a sample of Warren Chappell’s typeface Lydian (which was named for his wife Lydia).

    And of course there’s Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse’s Christiana named for their son Christian.


  21. Frank says:

    Doesn’t Helvetica sound like it has something to do with the devil? I thought Helvetin was finnish for hell, might be wrong though. To be sure, you’d might to want to pick something else…

  22. Confoederatio Helvetica is the Latin name for Switzerland.

  23. Jeff White says:

    I have a cat named Pica, but I was unable to convince my wife to name our daughter after anything design-related. Someone please design a typeface and name it after Amelia, if you wouldn’t mind. :)

  24. Roballoo! says:

    I’ve always wanted to create a typeface named after my sister, Cynthia. I always thought that sounded like a nice name for an elegant text font. Someday soon I hope to be ready to tackle a project like that.

    Maybe I’ll get sufficiently inspired if I make it to typecon 2004.

  25. Kvaternion says:

    How’s this for an unforgettable name:

    Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk

  26. Mr. Schwartz says:

    jeff: i hope your daughter Amelia is a robot. otherwise the typeface may not be appropriate for her.

  27. Jacques Le Bailly says:

    Our new princess (HollanD) is called Amalia…

    Explains a lot

  28. Jacques Le Bailly says:

    Our new princess (HollanD) is called Amalia…

    Explains a lot.


  29. Krzysztof says:

    A girl: Myriad. She could be even Pro in the future ;)
    A boy: Raavi

  30. Stephen says:

    Hrant – The code is provided here to make real live links. Why not use it?

  31. Hrant says:

    Well, I was thinking that the distribution of effort (from me to readers) makes sense because only people who are really interested in the link would bother to copy-paste it into the browser, and I wouldn’t be wasting effort on people who aren’t really interested.

    But you know what? For you, I’ll start doing it.


  32. Mr. Schwartz says:

    hrant, we’re definitely thinking of different Amelias.

  33. Pete Mason says:

    What was the name of that vomit-themed font? The one where each letter was created out of an image of somebody puking?

    Made for my kids….

    — Pete

  34. Jacqueline Favis says:

    My daughter’s name is “Arielle.”

    Not intentionally named after Arial. ;)

  35. Miss Tiffany says:

    I always like the fact that Ed Benguiat had designed a typeface and named it after me. Heeehheeeee! And my brothers name is Mason so he has a typeface named for him as well, I mean not named for him … ah, you know what I mean.

    Boy: Bremen or Hamilton
    Girl: Narcissus or Tasse

  36. Solo says:

    Futura, of course. Unless it’s a boy, in which case Futuro.

  37. Paul Madlon says:

    When I was in design school the chair of my department, William Bevington, named his daughter Perpetua. I’m not sure if it was after the typeface or after Gill’s daughter (as someone mentioned above). Or so it is told.

    Sadly, I’m sure most people would name their boy or girl “Times New Roman,” because that’s the only typeface they seem to know.

  38. Kent Lew says:

    For the record, the name of Gill’s font Perpetua came from the title of the text used for its first showing: The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity. As far as I know, Gill did not have a daughter with that name.

    Joanna, on the other hand, was indeed named for Gill’s youngest daughter, Joan (who married Renďż˝ Hague, Gill’s printing partner).

    — K.

  39. Nora says:


  40. Larry R Craig says:

    Interestingly enough, I feel as though my oldest daughter is associated with the font “myriad” her name is the Gaelic equivilent to Ann which is Myra. She has all the good qualities of the font but not necessarily the meaning used as noun or adjective. What about the font “Poor Richard” could that be upgraded to “Dick Nixon” … probably not!

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