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They’re listening: A quick Twitter case study

Screenshot of GOP website showing how republican is misspelled in several spaces..

Students in Jason Santa Maria’s Communicating Design class had a quick brush with Twitter notoriety last week, and a lesson in the immediacy of the medium.

During a guest lecture by type designer Jonathan Hoefler, a discussion ensued about the range of opinions to which a typographer’s work lends form. In exploring the example of Gotham’s use by the Obama campaign, and its subsequent adoption on, students noticed something else altogether on the Republican website. In two separate places, they’d misspelled the name of their party.

Jonathan quickly tweeted to Hoefler + Frere-Jones‘ 5000 followers: “Can you spot the typos? @jasonsantamaria’s class did.”. A series of retweets followed, and within the hour (at 8pm on a Thursday evening) one of the typos had been corrected. A second surge of tweets ensued surrounding the missed second correction, and by Friday morning, all spelling errors on the page seemed to be removed.

Student Eric St. Onge observed, “I think everyone was surprised by how an offhand comment in class resulted in a flurry of tweets on Twitter and by the speed of’s quick response to the discovery. As students, I think it provided a lesson to us in the rapid effects of social networks, as well as the value of proofreading your content before going live”.

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