Hailey Coral


Speak with your Type

Typography is something that all designers use to help communicate ideas in not only a legible and approachable manner, but also to help convey meaning. Whether it is the typeface that communicates that feeling, or even the small details such as spaces, punctuation, placement, and character choice. Designers have more control that someone may realize over the voice of a piece of work, simply through the typography. Display fonts are usually used for headings and may consist of more personality. However, these fonts can sometimes be less readable, and may not pertain to all the type rules. This does not mean they should not be used, since they can easily bring the desired meaning into your work, just in small doses. When it comes to body text however, justification (how paragraphs are aligned), leading (horizontal spacing between lines of type), kerning (the adjustment of space between letters), tracking (the space between words), and other variables, are all very important in making sure the text flows and reads well. The general rules that designers go by started in the 1700’s when the first typefaces were beginning to be created. Whether the typeface chosen is humanistic old-style, transitional, modern, slab serif, or a sans serif can make the world of a difference when readers are interpreting the piece of writing being presented. Minor details may seem small enough to be easily forgotten in the overall read of one’s typography, but in reality: every space, punctuation mark, capital letter, and font choice can lead to a new read. (Graphic Design School. By: Dabner, Stweart, and Zempol)

In an article in Smashing Magazine called “What Font Should I Us?: Five Principles for Choosing and Using Typefaces, Dan Mayer compares choosing fonts to choosing clothes. I love this comparison because it allows you to take the characters of the letter and understand them in a more humanized manner. When Mayer spoke about how a nice pair of your favorite jeans can be dressed up or down, it made understanding fonts much easier. A font is just a different style of particular typeface— bold, italic, light, condensed, etc. These options make it much easier to develop hierarchy and contrast while still allowing there to be room for cohesiveness within the writing. I also love the way Mayer chose to decipher different kinds of typefaces by relating them to feeling. A geometric typeface is “like a beautifully designed airport: it’s impressive, modern and useful, but we have to think twice about whether or not we’d like to live there.” Whereas humanistic typefaces can give a more empathetic feel, Old Styles are well, old style, Modern and transitional types are stylish, and Slab Serifs are expressive (in many different ways).



This geometric typeface adds a bit of an impression and some structure to the very mystical dreamy photograph it lies on top of. The lack of serifs allows the piece to look more clean and strong.


This slab serif font is used in an elegant and almost romantic manner. The placement of the R makes this look more like lettering rather than a full typeface. Nevertheless, its combination of character and structure make for a beautiful display type.


This combination of letterforms (or number forms in this case) create a lot of visual interest. Particularly in the negative space, the shapes that are made in the spaces between the numbers, is quite beautiful, and gives off a swift, modern, elegant feeling.


The distortion of this type, especially on a sans serif font, allows for a sense of movement and interest. I love that the paper makes the type look as if its waving and yet you gain a sense of sturdiness because of the thickness of the lines.


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