Thursday 1 April 2021

an elaborate hoax

The fictive archipelago shaped like a semi-colon and full of puns related to printing and fonts, the Guardian featured a seven-page supplement (see also) celebrating a decade of independence for the nation of San Serriffe, discussing the island’s history, economy and tourism with in-depth articles. Originally it was to be positioned in the Atlantic neighbouring Tenerife but a tragic airline disaster a few days prior prompted the newspaper’s editorial board to move it to the Indian Ocean, near the Seychelles. In an era before desktop publishing and the wide adoption of home computers, the terminology of typefaces was specialists’ jargon and most readers would have missed the jokes.