Possibly some of you read Wikipedia. We can’t say it is designed professionally, but (in such its parts as en.wikipedia.org, de.wikipedia.org and ru.wikipedia.org) community treats typography with respect. Such things as “dash”, “arrow symbols”, “degree sign” (°), and “serif vs sans-serif” font faces belong to the common knowledge. Not only have these sites lengthy manuals of style about typography, but MediaWiki software offers a drop-down menu with non-ASCII characters, as well as there are numerous templates (things written in the code as {{…}}) that show correct typography in the rendered HTML page.

At StackExchange sites, typography is almost non-existent. Most sites use sans-serif for text exclusively, although some use serif and there is not evident who and why made such decisions. Except for my own posts, I didn’t see any “→”, any “ × ”, any “ ° ”, only ASCII surrogates or clumsy MathJax emulation. It is almost impossible to see a dash character (“–” or “—”) at StackExchange except in some CMS templated messages. Even here, at meta.graphicdesign.SE, I didn’t see a single dash in posts but in Aarthi’s ones (that in turn use em dashes, that are idiosyncratic for English language).

What happened when I tried to discuss a part of this problem at meta.stackexchange.com? You probably guessed: they simply deride my grievances.

Are typography geeks here? Do you hear me? If you do, then, please, share your typography-related histories about StackExchange. How did you try to enhance Markdown or deploy a script that helps to insert useful symbols. How, possibly, isolated establishment members tried to improve things but were turned down.

  • I closed this because it appears to be just a rant and I'm afraid I dont see how this really pertains to design but a complaint on how the site is implemented.
    – user9447
    Sep 2, 2014 at 15:22
  • 1
    Not sure I get your point, but searches for those characters turn up results: , , °, ×. I can't think of anything to support a claim that SE "hates typography". If you see an instance where a a different character would be appropriate (e.g. -> should be replaced with →), I'd encourage you to suggest an edit.
    – JohnB
    Sep 2, 2014 at 15:33
  • As a pre-emptive advisory: if you're going to make these sorts of edits, you should make sure the edit is substantial. An edit to substitute one character for another would probably get rejected with the reasoning "This edit is too minor; suggested edits should be substantive improvements addressing multiple issues in the post".
    – JohnB
    Sep 2, 2014 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


In one of my recent answers: Achieve this effect: Glowing outline of a photograph from 2 days ago, prior to your posting this:

So get to it by Filter → Filter Gallery → Stylize → Glowing Edges

So, I'm not sure how much reading you've done to determine that you, and you alone, are champion of symbols. Of course you're also distinguishing "I" for some odd reason. I'm guessing you believe to be using the single quote when instead you're using the Grave Accent, so I wouldn't be pointing too many fingers. (I'm not sure why you'd be single quoting it either) [woops forgot the period, oh well]

Language and Graphic Design are about effectively communicating ideas. The ends justify the means, not the other way around. If one person wants to use → and another wants to just write, "then" as long as the point is made then both people were successful.

  • According to Adobe documentation style guides, menu traversing is to be done with only the > character — e.g. Filter > Filter Gallery > Stylize > Glowing Edges. I'm not stating this is right or wrong, but I specifically use > to remain consistent with application help files.
    – Scott
    Sep 2, 2014 at 17:41
  • @Scott Where is this "Adobe Documentation Style Guide" available?
    – Ryan
    Sep 2, 2014 at 18:28
  • It's not publicly available Ryan. And it's really more of a guideline they give anyone writing AI content officially. It's not like a book or manual or anything, just a few term uses like use >, "Choose" from a menu, and "Select" a tool. That sort of thing. This is why most authorized content uses the same basic terminology.
    – Scott
    Sep 2, 2014 at 19:49

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