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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Times New Roman Is Bad for Your Career

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Your dream job just became available. You know you’ve got the education, the experience, the know-how, and the passion to fill the position better than anyone else could. Heck, your grandfather even founded the company. But you sent your resume off a full month ago and have yet to hear a peep of confirmation that you are indeed the one and only person for the gig. The problem? It could very well be your penchant for Times New Roman.

“A résumé, that piece of paper designed to reflect your best self, is one of the places where people still tend to use typeface to express themselves,” writes Bloomberg Business reporter Natalie Kitroeff in “The Best and Worst Fonts to Use on Your Résumé.” So she and her team recruited “three typography wonks” to weigh in on what one’s choice of font says about his or her personality.

Among the article’s most surprising findings is that there’s an ongoing debate regarding the professional appropriateness of the seemingly innocuous (and often default) Times New Roman font. While Berlin-based designer Martina Flor has no personal beef with the font, she understands why people see it as a statement in dullness, but attributes some of that to the fact that it has been around forever. “It has been a system font for a long time,” Flor says. “It’s been used and misused a lot.”

Brian Hoff, creative director of Brian Hoff Design, sees it a bit differently: “It’s telegraphing that you didn’t put any thought into the typeface that you selected,” he says. “It’s like putting on sweatpants.” (For the record: Wearing sweatpants to an interview is also frowned upon.)

Of all the fonts discussed, there was only one that all three designers could agree on: good ol’ Helvetica. “Helvetica is so no-fuss, it doesn’t really lean in one direction or another,” states Hoff in the article. “It feels professional, lighthearted, honest. Helvetica is safe. Maybe that’s why it’s more business-y.”

“If it's me, [I’m using] Helvetica,” adds Matt Luckhurst, creative director at Collins. “Helvetica is beautiful. There is only one Helvetica.”

For job seekers with a longer resume, Luckhurst recommends Garamond. “Garamond is legible and easy for the eye to follow,” he explains. “[It] has all these quirks in it, so what that does is allow the eye to see where it should go.”

“You don’t have a typewriter, so don’t try to pretend that you have a typewriter,” says Luckhurst of what may be the oldest school font of them all: Courier. “You have been using a computer to do a handwritten thing. You haven’t used a computer properly, and you haven’t handwritten properly.”

The only other font that all three experts agreed on was the one font you never want to use, “unless you are applying to clown college,” jokes Hoff: Comic Sans.

We might be willing to wager that even a few clown colleges would be offended by such a hokey, wannabe-whimsical choice in typography.

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Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.
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Design
This Snow Sculpture of a Car Was So Convincing Cops Tried to Write It a Ticket
Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.
Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.

Winter is a frustrating time to be on the road, but one artist in Montreal has found a way to make the best of it. As CBS affiliate WGCL-TV reports, his snow sculpture of a DeLorean DMC-12 was so convincing that even the police were fooled.

Simon Laprise of L.S.D Laprise Simon Designs assembled the prank car using snow outside his home in Montreal. He positioned it so it appeared to be parked along the side of the road, and with the weather Montreal has been having lately, a car buried under snow wasn’t an unusual sight.

A police officer spotted the car and was prepared to write it a ticket before noticing it wasn’t what it seemed. He called in backup to confirm that the car wasn’t a car at all.

Instead of getting mad, the officers shared a good laugh over it. “You made our night hahahahaha :)" they wrote on a fake ticket left on the snow sculpture.

The masterpiece was plowed over the next morning, but you can appreciate Laprise’s handiwork in the photos below.

Snow sculpture.

Snow sculpture of car.

Snow sculpture of car.

Note written in French.

[h/t WGCL-TV]

All images courtesy of Simon Laprise.

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Douglas Grundy, Three Lions/Getty Images
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geography
This 1940 Film on Road Maps Will Make You Appreciate Map Apps Like Never Before
Douglas Grundy, Three Lions/Getty Images
Douglas Grundy, Three Lions/Getty Images

In the modern era, we take for granted having constantly updated, largely accurate maps of just about every road in the world at our fingertips. If you need to find your way through a city or across a country, Google Maps has your back. You no longer have to go out and buy a paper map.

But to appreciate just what a monstrous task making road maps and keeping them updated was in decades past, take a look at this vintage short film, "Caught Mapping," spotted at the Internet Archive by National Geographic.

The 1940 film, produced by the educational and promotional company Jam Handy Organization (which created films for corporations like Chevrolet), spotlights the difficult task of producing and revising maps to keep up with new road construction and repair.

The film is a major booster of the mapmaking industry, and those involved in it come off as near-miracle workers. The process of updating maps involved sending scouts out into the field to drive along every road and note conditions, compare the roads against topographical maps, and confirm mileage figures. Then, those scouts reported back to the draughtsmen responsible for producing revised maps every two weeks. The draughtsmen updated the data on road closures and other changes.

Once those maps were printed, they were "ready to give folks a good steer," as the film's narrator puts it, quietly determining the success of any road trip in the country.

"Presto! and right at their fingertips, modern motorists can have [information] on any road they wish to take." A modern marvel, really.

[h/t National Geographic]

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