Typography and the Oscars

Every year around this time, all of Hollywood’s elite gather together to congratulate themselves on a job well done and award each other for best in show. And while this normally makes the news, this year the wrong award was given out, resulting in a flurry of news features and memes.

An “aw sh*t” moment if there ever was one

Immediately after the incident, many investigated into exactly how a mistake like that happened. But the official stance is that Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were accidently handed the envelope for “Best Actress” instead of “Best Picture.” But what does this have to do with communication, you ask?

Typography. Yes, that’s right. If the card had been designed differently, this apparently monumental gaffe could have been avoided. We all know what the “Best Picture” card looked like as it’s been thoroughly memed this week:


Benjamin Bannister, in his article for Medium entitled, “Why Typography Matters Especially at the Oscars,”asserts that the design of those cards is a major problem. Had the size of the winner been bigger or thicker than the other information on the card, as well as the order in which the card was presented, then Beatty and Dunaway would have recognized right away that they had the wrong card.


This a lesson we can all learn for our own professional careers, even if we don’t end up doing much design work. Typography matters. The way we present information and how it’s lettered will change how that information is read. And if we don’t want to be that poor sucker that shoulders the blame for an error like giving the wrong winner envelope at the Oscars, I suggest we take this lesson to heart.


Source: https://medium.com/@benjaminbannister/why-typography-matters-especially-at-the-oscars-f7b00e202f22#.hsb3f8m9w


Note from author: I actually suggest you click through that source. It’s a very interesting read and it’s short.


3 thoughts on “Typography and the Oscars

  1. This is for sure an interesting thing to think about! You can’t help but think someone definitely lost there job over this. What a simple mistake that could have so easily been avoided by a larger font size.


  2. What a time to be alive, that was the craziest Oscars moment I’ve ever seen. My take is that Beatty knew something was up because he took such a long time and even looked backstage at some point, and then when he showed it to Dunaway he was hoping she would notice. But I guess she might have just seen the name and blurted it out. It was unfortunate but handled incredibly well by both parties and the Oscars themselves. Also, supposedly the only people that touch the envelopes are a man and a woman who work for the accounting agency that tallies the votes, they lock the envelopes in a briefcase, so this guy probably got a good slap on the wrists. Possibly fired. I’m also assuming it was the guy because after it happened he went and deleted all his tweets from the night.


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