Firstly, if there are any professional designers reading this, QUICK.. look over there >>> A squirrel!
Where does the average Joe start when trying to choose the right typeface? Well, that’s what we called them in design college, but now we collectively know them as just “fonts”. In fact, there’s a lot more to know about the fonts we use every day, and it started an awful long time ago, which I won’t go into now.
You may not give them much thought if you are not an artistic type, but for us designers they are super-massively important.
Using the right font in the right context can give all manner of subtle nuances, and sometimes very powerful feelings. Below I’ve used some really clichéd examples of the correct use of a typeface, and below that, the same words with the absolutely wrong typeface. Can you see what’s happening there? And why?
Sometimes you could go against the grain for your own nefarious reasoning, and good luck if you do. But generally speaking, because we advertise to consumers and clients in particular demographic circumstances with well defined expectations, the consensus is that choosing an appropriate typeface for the job will get you much further in the mad world of advertising or marketing.
The other thing is, (I hate to break the bubble) that as much as we would love to think we are all “individual thinkers”, I can definitively say we are not. Because from birth, we are slowly programmed by the very culture we grow up in, to think, act, dress, eat and consume similarly. The saying “but I’m not a hipster” springs to mind here for some reason, lol.
Typefaces have a definite feeling or flavour that can convey exactly what words mean, so choose wisely!
I’ve seen some really bad choices of typeface over the years, and needless to say, either the company that accepted the god-awful travesty is now bankrupt or they fired their own 10 year old son/daughter as their graphic designer and paid for a real one to fix it.
Use of Serif Font vs Sans Serif is important, specially when using large volumes of text or you need quick recognition of important information.
Sans Serif (no pointy bits on extremities of characters) is the weapon of choice for quick recognition of very important but very short messages, this is why you will almost exclusively see Sans Serif font used on signs in airports or on road signs. Fast, and to the point with few words. Serif should be used almost exclusively in large volumes of text as it actually provides a level of “comfort” to the eye of the reader, which is important if you actually want someone to read it. If you start making text too hard to look at or too crazy you run the risk of turning the reader away entirely. Not a good idea when you’re trying to sell something or give important life saving information.
Happy Font Hunting!!