Have you ever read a word for the first time and then heard it used in conversation the next day? It always seems like the most bizarre coincidence, like everything in the universe is all aligned around your personal experience. In actually, you probably just never noticed that word was being used all the time.
This phenomena is referred to as inattentional or perceptual blindness. UFO and conspiracy enthusiast often rely on it to justify why some people can’t see ghost or that our President is a reptilian. There are a lot of studies about this but the point is, you can consciously unsee things.
I spent a lot of my life blind to fonts. I had a basic awareness of them–some were thicker, some helped make a 9 page paper almost the required 10 pages, some I liked more then others, some were trending in logos or store signs. I interacted with different fonts constantly, but never gave it much thought.
The interesting thing about inattention is once you become aware, it’s becomes impossible to become unaware. Right now, me and fonts are having a moment. It’s like that moment in Pleasantville when the characters begin to see in color. Fonts, a once omnipresent but somewhat irrelevant part of my life have become an obsession. The jump off the page of every book, letter, or website. I see then in every app, email, and billboard. I recognize them, I see their family members.
This, like many moments in my design journey, has been a beautiful awakening. I’m beginning to allow myself to see the threads that hold the physical world together. It’s all very exciting 🙂