Shift Happens Book Companion

A note on typography


Shift Happens is typeset in Mercury Text, a great, hard-working serif with newspaper roots, released in 1999.

The image captions and keys are output in Output Sans, designed by David J. Ross.

The chapter titles and page numbers are typeset in Gorton, a classic CNC font that has been used for a century to carve key legends in typewriter and computer keyboards. This version of Gorton has been digitized from scratch for the purpose of this book (read more about Gorton’s revival for this book). An even more improved version of the font, Gorton Perfected, is available for purchase for desktop and web use.

The font used in a few instances of “typed” output (e.g. page 336) is FF Dot Matrix, released in 1991, striking a great balance between classic typewriting fonts and a computer pixel fonts.


Mercury Text doesn’t have a numero (№), so a Times numero has been substituted.

The dash used in body copy is a custom dash somewhere in between Mercury Text’s endash and emdash.

Section breaks and footnote symbols have been custom designed for the book, inspired by keyboard symbols throughout the ages.