Typography is the art and technique of arranging type. Like fine-tuning a sports car, creating and defining great type design involves an intricate combination of educated and thoughtful selection of typeface, point size, line length, line spacing (leading), uniform letter spacing (tracking), and individual letter spacing (kerning).
A designer who uses the right typeface has the power to raise strong and persuasive responses when readers translate the meaning behind the message. Typography carries a lot of weight in both brand communication and advertising campaigns.
As viewers, we respond differently based on the style of typography we see — from size, color, weight, shape, or type case. Our own cultural references and how we feel in the moment can also impact our perception greatly.
“Applying the right font to your message means establishing trust in your brand.” Chris Lo, President/Creative Director of Matcha Design
The Fundamental Difference
What’s the difference between typeface and font? Essentially, a font is the digital representation of a typeface. Various techniques can be used to augment the viewer’s perception in respect to the message:
- Combine letterforms to build inspiring or meaningful icons.
- Replace letters, parts of letters, or an entire word with imagery.
- Choose the right type or treatment that matches the desired mood.
Think about perspective, and play around with design. You can create 3D spaces within a 2D medium or take your own typography through the journey of shapes, space, and scale.
No matter where you derive inspiration, remember that smart placement and a good concept are what make for a captivating design. Do not underestimate the power of simplicity — and simple doesn’t mean easy.
Typography can be as creative and unique as you are, and you can even try using your own handwriting within your design. The bottom line is this: if your work doesn’t communicate well with the audience, or it fails to capture the meaning behind the message, it’s not doing its job.
Delivering meaning with effective weight, emotion, and decorum is your purpose.
Stay tuned for our next installment on design, Balance & Rhythm.