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Dear internet... - The art of Thornwolf — LiveJournal
Dear internet...
Dear internet,

I remember mentioning this before, but what on God's green earth is the point of LJ icons like this?

You know the type. Tiny unreadable text shrunken down to a subatomic level. It would be one thing if it were taken from a much larger image with text and shrunken down where scale is not thy friend, granted it would reek of unprofessionalism, but no, there icons are PURPOSEFULLY MADE this way. I would really like to know why. Why do this? Why bother?

Is it some sick desire for secret subliminal messages being displayed on comment pages? Most of the time they're just movie quotes or song lyrics. Niether of which anyone can READ so it loses all its propriety in context.

One of these days I'm gonna make an icon with that "Aristocrats" joke all tiny-fied, just to have the same sense of smug satisfaction these people do, knowing that my icon says something so utterly fucked up, and even though you're staring right at it, you can't read it.
18 comments or Leave a comment
edge_chan From: edge_chan Date: June 14th, 2007 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)
WORD! Tiny fonts are nice (*pointsmyicon*), but when are unreable or have a very light color font with a very light background colors X_X
edge_chan From: edge_chan Date: June 14th, 2007 09:07 am (UTC) (Link)
*but NOT when
stokerbramwell From: stokerbramwell Date: June 14th, 2007 09:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Alas, I am guilty of having an icon in that vein. But at least some of the text is legible. I honestly have no idea what the tiny letters beneath "Evil never felt so good" say, nor why they're even included. I also admit to being slightly clueless about the odd hue and paint splashes. I don't really get it. But, it's a pretty good shot of Robotnik, and for me, that makes up for most of it. XD
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: June 14th, 2007 09:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I should make one of the declaration of independence in tiny text and only make certain words bigger to they spell something dirty.
stokerbramwell From: stokerbramwell Date: June 14th, 2007 09:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Dooooooo eeeeeeet!
alex_to_you From: alex_to_you Date: June 14th, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
You better make one like that cuz I want to see it!
akeyla From: akeyla Date: June 14th, 2007 09:29 am (UTC) (Link)
you mean you cant read it?

check your eyes perhaps?


nope, I agree. Totally useless. Guess some are unaware of it (random idiotism on net) but I kind of like the idea of hiding messages there >:)
vogeldrache From: vogeldrache Date: June 14th, 2007 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Some icon makers fancy themselves graphic designers, and thus use typography as a graphic element rather than as readable text. I've seen tiny text used as texture, filler, even frames and other elements. Assume they are not meant to be read, but they are instead just another part of the icon. A decoration even.

To me though, I always thought tiny text represented whispering, or something not meant to be heard (or in this case seen). I'm weird. :x
haikujaguar From: haikujaguar Date: June 14th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
To me though, I always thought tiny text represented whispering, or something not meant to be heard (or in this case seen). I'm weird. :x

What a cool idea!
steppinrazor From: steppinrazor Date: June 14th, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've always assumed it's meant to be a graphic element (like an interesting, randomly broken up thin/jagged line)... BUT, it only works in some places. That example definitely doesn't work (it's also overdone, but they're LJ icons, you can only expect so much >.>)
reyfox From: reyfox Date: June 14th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think this icon is supposed to say: "Wow. Good thing that particle beam narrowly missed us." "Duhhhhhhhh."
demonvaska From: demonvaska Date: June 14th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
The number of poorly made, poorly laid out and impossible to read LJ Icons is immense, but nothing compared to the number which absolutely, positively, fail to be funny or interesting. When I go icon browsing, I head over to fandom_wank.
silver_huskey From: silver_huskey Date: June 14th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
(repost, sorry)

If you hadn't mention there was text there, I would have missed it. XD At first glance anyway... Makes me wonder if the creator was trying to be creative or just arrogant. ^^; Or maybe his or her target audience likes unreadable text, and they're just being pandered to.
From: windancer_ifus Date: June 14th, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I NEVER got the point of those either. They piss me off too. ):
From: neofeliss Date: June 14th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's more or less added for effect, but yeah, IT'S ANNOYING. D:

Plus it ruins a pretty snazzy icon. DX
growly From: growly Date: June 14th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually brought this up a few days ago, and the general consensus seems to be that it's a meek attempt at artfulness.
ultra_taboo From: ultra_taboo Date: June 14th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
saitenyo From: saitenyo Date: June 15th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm cool with tiny text when used as a graphic element (where words just become lines and shapes to add to the composition) but when it's right in the middle of a big empty white space in the middle of the icon like that, I don't see the point. The composition draws attention to the text but the text is useless in both composition and readability. I mean, tiny text on a side border or over a background to add texture looks nice...but that just looks bad.

My guess is, whoever made that icon saw all the other "tiny text" icons and thought it was the cool thing to do but missed the whole "has a purpose as a compositional element" thing.

I have lots of icons with tiny text, but it never bugs me on the ones I use because I assume it was done as a graphic element, or at least it looks that way.
18 comments or Leave a comment