March 23, 2001
In the earlier releases of Mac OS X, there was a curious little fellow that lived in the Fonts panel called the “Buy Fonts” button. A few eyebrows were raised and collective mumblings were shared between onlookers of the typographic variety, and then the “Buy Fonts” button quietly slid out of view and out of mind. As the fervorous vibration generated by the imminent appearance of OS X grew, so again did my curiosity. A week or so of playing with the release candidate led to the use of the Fonts panel on several occasions. Today, the aimless poking and prodding uncovered something vaguely familiar. Lo, what should I find lurking at the bottom of the ponderous “Extras…” menu?
Currently, selecting the menu item sends the user to an isolated apple.com web page of the “coming soon”, so it’s hard to tell how this story will end. One fascinating thing to note is that Apple has changed the voice of this particular interface widget from the pure, direct marketing inspired call to action “Buy Fonts” to a street vendor style “Get Fonts”. How positively quaint. Maybe the logical extension of this labelling would be the grammatic contortion offered by a “Got Fonts?” button. Pop culture reference? You’re soaking in it.
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