Imagine a scenario where you had many options to choose from and all you ended up with was an increased level of confusion. Yes! That is precisely what the designers go through as one of the biggest struggles they go through is how to choose fonts. Think about it, there are many options and all of them look better than others. As a designer, you have to pick the best that fits the design and reflects the true tone of the brand personality. The reaction to any blog is not just decided by the content, graphics or images but also the typography. Choice of right fonts based on the correct typography rules is essential for inciting specific emotions in the target audience and is instrumental in giving away the primary idea which will actually push people to take a certain action.
The typographic arsenal includes two primary weapons- the typefaces and the fonts! If that makes you wonder what aren’t they the same things, then trust us, you are not alone. Two words have been popularly used interchangeably. This will not really matter to anyone but the designer. Definitely, we know what is going on in your mind right now.
Simply put, a typeface is also called the font family. This means that the typeface is comprised of many fonts where every font is endowed with a particular weight, style, condensation, slant, ornamentation, etc. The origin of typefaces can be traced back to the 15th Century when various humanist scholars had scrapped various Gothic scripts in order to favor a far more classical mode of handwriting. It is said that many famous fonts like Bembo, Jensen, etc. come from the names of the printers who had worked in that era for improving their designs by use of better typography.
A Font is thus a specific weight and style of a bigger typeface. E.g. Serif is a typeface and Times New Roman is a member of the Serif family. The font has become a popular reference in the daily discussions. However, there are points where the designer is required to furnish the exact details. The font comes from the French word ‘fonte’ which was in use in the Middle ages. Fonte meant something which was cast in metal. Various printers made a cast of the whole letter set to make a font.
Knowledge of the history of the essential fonts which are used in daily life helps in determining their parent typeface families in addition to helping the designers to visualize where it all began and how far have we come. So, if you are aiming for a designer profile, you cannot afford to miss the next piece of information.
Once done with the rules and lets just also dig a bit deeper in the emotional power of fonts. Imagine a good book, for instance, Harry Potter. Apart from the magic, it creates by taking you to a different world, something which is really striking about it is the font in which it is written. Visual appeal is as important as the substance. Every font is associated with an emotion which you cannot override. In a survey conducted by the Software Usability Research Laboratory of Wichita State University a few years ago for studying the link between different fonts and the emotions which they elicit, highly intriguing results were returned. There were certain fonts which were described as being mature and stable while others were fun and Happy Fonts.
So, if you really feel that it is all but a game of words, so you are not wrong. What we have tried to present is a set of rules but true designers like to break the rules and experiment with them factoring in different cues from their imagination. Masterpieces are never created keeping in mind the rule-book. However, the disregard should not be sharp but a flow.
Anuja is the Co-founder and CEO of RedAlkemi Online Pvt. Ltd., a digital marketing agency helping clients with their end to end online presence. Anuja has 30 years of work experience as a successful entrepreneur and has co-founded several ventures since 1986. She and her team are passionate about helping SMEs achieve measurable online success for their business. Anuja holds a Bachelors degree in Advertising from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chandigarh, India.