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Why is type design important to you?

February 17, 2010

After sitting at my screen looking at thousands of typefaces in my font browser I began to wonder if I was  different from other people. The thought stuck with me for a while and I eventually realized that the only difference between me and everyone else is that, as a designer, I’m just a little more aware of what different faces actually mean.

Fonts are everywhere and on everything. Sometimes when I walk into a supermarket I feel that on a certain level my eyes tune the fonts out and turn them into blobs with colors. Typography is just like the air we breath; it’s there but we don’t realize it because it works at such a very basic level. But what people often don’t realize is that typography has a way of evoking an emotional reaction, often at the subconscious.

To illustrate this argument why don’t I use a well established example of a stop sign. Now what I’m going to do is change the font to show how the font can change the tone. You can easily see that the original font used was used for a specific reason.

So why does this really matter to you? Well lets take you “the reader” and play a quick game. Lets say you are running for office and your logo will be everywhere on signs, pins, t-shirts, etc. Well clearly the most important part of your logo is your name, so lets say it’s James Smith for the sake of this argument. Now as a politician the style of the font you choose is very important, think of Obama and McCain’s logos. The style can subconsciously dictate who you are. “San-serif” can mean modern and forward thinking while a “serif” can mean traditional and sticking to tried an true ways. As you can see both mean something very different. We can keep on playing but I think you get the idea. After the stye you you get more and more specific and after that the designer customizes the font into a logo.

So again why are fonts important? Typography like colors, illustrations and photography is just another nuance in your brand communications of what you need to say. Type adds a personality to your brand value that can either work for or against you depending on what’s used. So it’s imperitive that what you pick as your font matches who you are as a company and is designed so it comes cross favorably to your audience.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2010 16:02

    You may be interested to know: http://www.johnmccain.com — New identity, and new type (Stag by Christian Schwartz)

  2. February 22, 2010 16:31

    Thanks Kyle. Yes, the McCain logo has definitely taken on a new look and feel. Most don’t realize it, but the appropriate font can do wonders to set the tone and influence people. In regards to McCain’s logo, what was once traditional has now taken on a new fresh vibe. Gone is the Optima and the clip art star and what’s replaced it is a nice stylish flag and very cool Stag font. All to make McCain feel more relevant which is especially important right now since he’s getting some opposition from JD Hayworth, check out his logo, http://www.jdhayworth2010.com/. Thanks.

  3. March 6, 2010 21:28

    nice blog Saturday team! I saw the stop signs and me being a little random it made me think of an old video that I had seen and I wanted to share with you. I have a feeling that you will enjoy it )if you haven’t already seen it).

    The Process (a.k.a. Designing The Stop Sign Video)

    Sorry this isn’t about type design but I hope it makes your day. :)

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