Friday, June 4, 2010

Type Matters

The good news is that lately I've been getting a lot of great work.
The bad news is that I can't share it with you. Silly NDAs.

Therefore, in lieu of showing you some of my work today, I've thrown together a quick type study. It focuses on the importance of type selection. The fact of the matter is, type really does matter. When you choose a font, you are making a decision about what will be conjured up in the viewers' minds. Of course we don't have complete control over this process, but we certainly have a lot of power. Let's use that power well and pick appropriate fonts. (By the way, if you want to read more about the difference between a font and a typeface, read this.)

Here we go. I chose potentially the more generic fictional company name, Acme Industries, and featured it in several fonts. The only thing I changed was the font. Everything else about each feature is the same: all caps, stacked, same size. I've given you the name of the font (and I absolutely did not intend for all but one of them to start with one of the first two letters of the alphabet, but oh well), a little background on the font and what the font makes the company name suggest.
Font: Rockwell
Background: Created during the depression (1934), Rockwell is sturdy and angular.
What does it say? Something serious, having to do with machinery or manual labor. A manufacturing or mining company.
Font: Avenir
Background: Avenir is French for "future". It was created in 1988 with the future in mind.
What does it say? It's modern and streamlined. A software or pharmecutical company, perhaps.
Font: Archer
Background: Archer is a young 'un. It was created in 2001 for Martha Stewart Living.
What does it say? Cute and Chic. Cleaning products, make up, or sweet kitchen accessories.

Font: Baka
Background: Baka is even younger. It was created in 2006.
What does it say? It's human and unconventional. Could be a summer camp or something in the skateboarding industry.

Font: Bodoni
Background: Designed in 1798, Bodoni is a very vertical typeface that's full of contrast.
What does it say? High class and tradition with a little flair. A fashion magazine or ritzy hotel.

Hope you enjoyed the mini-lesson. If one of the fonts says something interesting to you, share it with us in the comments section below. Finally, if you want to read about a typeface I've declared we should never use again, click here.

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