“I’m looking for a typeface to use for a brochure about my company’s line of automated sheet metal cutters – you know, something masculine.”
“I need a happy font for a party invitation.”
“I love Zapfino – but I’m concerned that it is too feminine for this project.”
It seems that we are continually trying to assign personalities, emotions or other human traits to typeface designs. Perhaps it is a way to make sense out of the seemingly unending array of typeface designs – or maybe we assume that “personality style” is part of every typeface designer’s standard design brief for developing new typefaces.
Suitable vs. Sentimental
A certain amount of typeface categorization is a good and helpful thing. Assuming typographic sentiment, however, is not. While it makes sense to classify typefaces into stylistic categories like serif and sans, or old style and didone, it does not to assume that certain typefaces are, for example, “feminine” or “happy.”
Most typeface design categories are defined by specific traits. “Humanistic sans serif” designs are typefaces without serifs whose proportions are based on Roman inscriptional capitals and Renaissance minuscule letters. “glyphic” typefaces are distinguished by triangular-shaped serifs or flared stroke endings.
e choices fresh? Will they set your design apart? Are they appropriate for your message? Are there better alternatives? After this analysis, choose the typeface that is best for your project. And remember: bold is not necessarily for boys.
MORE RESOURCES FOR TYPOGRAPHY
- More posts on Typography
- More from Allan Haley,
Typography, Referenced: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to the Language, History, and Practice of Typography
- Type Idea Index: The Designer’s Ultimate Tool for Choosing and Using Fonts Creatively
- Get more design strategies: Advertising Design and Typography
- Want to brush up your design skills with the basics? Logo, Font & Lettering Bible
- Allan Haley on Design TV: Improving Your Type Skills