06 January 2008

Let's talk typography

It may be a sad commentary on the state of my life, but I spend a fair amount of time thinking about typography.

Typography is the technical term for the style, arrangement, size, and weight of a font used in any type of visual design, whether it be an advertisement, a magazine article, a card, or a scrapbook page. In addition to playing a critical role in contributing to the desired “feel” of a design, type can also be used to organize space and provide structure.

A carefully selected font can get you miles closer to your design goals by suggesting or supporting a particular theme or style. For example, when I see this font (Candice), I immediately think of the 70's. This one (Decotech) takes me to the Art Deco period (think: Tomorrowland at Disneyworld).

In general, I've found that I tend to prefer sans serif fonts, although I use all kinds. "Serifs" are the little "caps" at the ends of letters. Fonts with serifs tend to be more traditional (a good example is Times New Roman). Sans serif fonts don't have caps on the ends of the letters and lend a more contemporary feel (see Gill below). Here are just a few of my current favorites (most of these are available free via Microsoft Office or web download):

Microsoft Gill Sans MT – You can’t beat a good sans serif font for a clean, modern look. This is my basic journaling font, for scrapbooking and any kind of writing.

Berlin Sans FB - Also a sans serif font, but a bit more rounded. This font was inspired by the first-ever sans serif font created in the 1920's. Good for a retro kind of look.

Desyrel - A very casual, realistic-looking handwriting font.

Futura - This is the font used for the "Studio" QuicKutz alphabet. Tall and thin.

Impact - A nice chunky font, great for a contemporary title.

Wendy Medium - Another casual handwriting font, just a bit elegant. Love this for titles and captions.

Willow - One of my favorite fonts for achieving an "arts and crafts", Frank Lloyd Wright kind of feel.

So which fonts speak to you? Which ones do you use over and over? Let's talk typography.


Kimmie Sue said...

I think my favorites that I use often are Verdana and Tahoma. They can be widely found on different websites and lots of computers have them so most computers can read them as they are meant to be read.

I like to use Bradley Hand when I can, too. But that only shows up if the computer that's looking at it has it installed. :o(

Lida said...

I love your post, I´m also a true fontoholic always collecting fonts and using the same ones over and over.
I use verdana to type in emails or message boards, then fancy fonts I love TK Doodle, Scriptina, Stereofidelic and I also go to lots of EK, 2peas and CK fonts.
There is something about fonts that give a polished look to what y ou are doing. Your post was very interesting, have a great week.

Sarah C. said...

I love playing around with fonts. My favorites right now tend to be handwritten looking ones (Angelina, Jenkins) for my digi LOs.

BTW, glad to know Lily is ok! :D

Rachael said...

I don't type much anymore! I usually use my own handwriting.

When I do type though, I like the generic looking fonts, universal, unisex ones! LOL

I usually pick Arial! Boring, I know!

Cheri said...

So have you seen the documentary about Helvetica's 50th birthday? www.helvetica-film.com/index.html (this was featured on the last page of the Feb 08 CK magazine).

jp said...

Kimmie Sue-I like both of those fonts, too! And Bradley Hand is actually the font used on a really good restaurant in our town!

Lida-I LOVE Stereofidelic! I almost listed that one as one of my favorites! :-)

Sarah-Yes, it's an addiction, isn't it? I love Angelina, too. I also really like Liorah BT-another pretty handwriting font, but very slanted. Thx for checking on Lily! She's fine as of now...I had to pull a grape out of her mouth a bit ago!

Rachael-It's great you are using your own writing! I do that occasionally, too. Your handwriting is such an important part of who you are!

Cheri-I haven't seen Helvetica (YET!) but I'm tracking it! I almost got to see it over the summer in Chicago but missed it by a day! I blogged about it on March 20 last year. :-)

Thx for stopping by, guys!

Cheri said...

LOL...and I'm sure I read the entry then, but forgot:) I knew I'd heard of the film before I saw it in CK...