LastResort, the Mac's weirdest font

LastResort comes installed on all Macs, and as its name suggests is a special font the system uses whenever it can't figure out anything better to use. In the age of Unicode, it's not likely an everyday user would ever experience this problem: standard system fonts cover pretty much everything. LastResort sometimes shows itself, though, and far from being a mundane, technical tool for developers, welcomes lost users to a hieroglyphic mystery world. It, Ernie Smith writes, "may be the greatest font of all time."

LastResort is not an easy font to dig up. It does not appear in the Mac's emoji interface. When I downloaded the typeface from the Unicode Consortium to analyze it, I found that it didn't display in MacOS' default Font Book app. (If you want to see it there, download a font that doesn't have any lowercase characters.) Downloading a third-party app got me a bit closer to seeing it, but even then, it only showed me a single character.