Readable name tags

Accelerated scientific progress
improved conference interaction
larger name-tag fonts


Frequently asked questions

Isn't an 18-point font big enough?


Why do you make longer names smaller? Isn't that unfair?

Each name tag chooses its own font size, the largest font that fits. Do you think we should compromise readability of John Smith's name tag just because your name is Wilhelm Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorft? Everybody calls you Bill Wolf anyway, so why don't you just put that on your name tag in a nice big font?

Don't you remember me? I sat across from you when we all went to that bar at the conference last year!

Of course I remember you. You're the guy who kept adding more pepper to his pizza, and you told this amazing story about what you did for Greenpeace, and you said you're renovating your bathroom at home because your wife would like her own sink, and you're much better than I am at table soccer. I just don't happen to remember your name. Would you be happier if I remembered your name and didn't remember all the other stuff?

Don't you know who I am? My papers revolutionized this field!

No, I don't know who you are. We haven't met. Maybe I've just started in this field; maybe I just haven't been lucky enough to hear your talks; or maybe you aren't actually as famous as you think. Maybe I've read the famous X paper on topic Y, and maybe you're X, and maybe I've even written a followup paper on Y that you might be interested in, but since I don't know your name it won't occur to me to mention this. Maybe you're some completely different person Z who wouldn't be interested. It's not as if the papers in the conference proceedings have pictures of the authors; frankly, given how much the publisher charges us for every drop of ink, I'm glad we don't spend the space on those pictures.

If you were wearing a name tag like everybody else then I'd have at least a chance of recognizing your name and realizing that I've read your articles. But you think you're too famous to wear a name tag. Fine. There are enough people to chat with who aren't trying to make life difficult. Enjoy your bourbon.


This is version 2012.03.16 of the faq.html web page.