Tioga, the Tiresias clone

If Tiresias Screenfont is supposed to solve all our problems for “subtitling” (really captioning for vision-impaired grannies), then how is it possible that Agfa Monotype could waltz in and clone it?

That’s exactly what happened with Tioga, a typeface that, like Arial with Helvetica, has the same widths and is intended as a low-rent substitute for the real thing. (Actually, Tioga is also allegedly “intended for use by people with low vision.”)

The very existence of Tioga destroys the imperative to use Tiresias. It undermines Tiresias’s reason for being. Hence, if you weren’t persuaded by our debunking of the Tiresias “research” or by our design critique, maybe you’ll be persuaded by the de facto usurpation of Tiresias in the marketplace.

Was Tioga tested with viewers?

No. Is a complete absence of research better than inept and equivocal research?

Design critique

We are saddened to report that there isn’t very much to critique about Tioga. It’s an interchangeable late-20th-century sansserif reminiscent of FF Info Text, Kievit, or Profil. Of course that places Tioga in the running as viable temporary replacement for Arial while you’re waiting for us to get our act together and design a new set of fonts.


And Tioga is better than Tiresias how?

We should probably mention that character widths aren’t the only thing Tioga clones from Tiresias. Tioga also doesn’t have an italic.

Is it any wonder we can’t find the name of the designer? Would you want your name associated with a half-arsed clone of an already lousy font?

Version history


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