Essay: Typography

Before starting any debate, discussion or argument it is helpful to define the terminology that the words being used, are generally understood. Typography plays a huge part in design and is the way in which the type is displayed on a page to achieve the best desired visual effect and to convey the meaning of the reading matter, it is the visual component of the written word. It involves the arrangement of typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, leading tracking and kerning. ‘Typography has to do with ‘mood setting’ before the message is delivered. Typography is a hidden tool of manipulation within society’ (Brody: 2005). Typography cannot be faked. It is clear, interpretive of the content, and appropriate to its message, or it is a random treatment that only superficially looks daring and current (White: 2005). It is all about your choice of typefaces and your technique of setting type, which gives your composition its character, pace, and style. No matter what is wrote down, if it is wrote over and over again but in different typefaces the message can be altered, its based on this level of integration with a design theme that makes typography one of the most powerful tools in the designers toolbox.

‘For all its communicative value, a piece of typography can still lay on a page like a lox. Or it can sing and dance. Its all in the hands of the designer.’ (Peckolick: 2013)

As well as the above quote Peckolick also said when working with graphic designer Herb Lubalin said ‘ The best type never gets noticed.’ and Peckolick replied with ‘Unless you want it to’ (2005)

Typography is so important and is used in almost every aspect of Graphic Design as part of communication. The use of typefaces and white space around and through them creates a whole design.?? Typography is the way in which we communicate tone of voice, age, gender, and emotion. Visual characteristics of the font do speak louder than words and can be easily manipulated.

Geometry can produce legible letter but art alone makes them beautiful. (Standard: 2014)

A brand is a personality, a character with its own identity, and like people brands want to be unique, stand out and crave attention. So many factors??build up a brand such as colour, imagery, positioning, tone of voice and typography. Typography is one of the most important elements. Typography isn’t just there to look pretty; it can evoke particular feelings and reactions and make choices for the customer, as it is one of the first element seen by the customer on the logo. A lot of the success is down to typography as it communicates your brand and the characteristics of it swiftly and successfully. This is where brand values come into it. These are very important to a company, they are what the customers see’s and feel during their contact with the company.?? They define why you do what you do as a brand and more importantly the way you do it. Passion, trust, reliability and respect are just a few of the examples brand values of a company. All of the above can be seen through the use of typography if it is used correctly.

Every brand should think along the lines of Peckolick when he said ‘The best type never gets noticed, unless you want it to’ when trying to communicate typography to portray their brand values as the company is wanting to get noticed and gain the trust and respect of their customers so need to put there designs out there. If a company was to use the same consistent typeface throughout their branding then the company will become well knows as it creased a sense of recognition and trust. A prime example being the BBC. Everybody recognises the BBC just from the three characters in Gill Sans. If you were to write BBC in a flowery font, people wouldn’t recognise it.

James Puckett states that the difference between good typography and ‘bad typography’ is the difference between work that looks professional and work that looks like someone threw it together in MS Word. One reasons apple’s store looks so good is the careful and consistent application of the typeface Myriad. (James Puckett. 2014. How to explain why typography matters. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 January 15].)

The findings following the theme were to be solely conducted using books as this was the main source of reliable information. However It has come to the attention that apparently no book cover two topics together, leaving very limited research for the over all exploration, especially brand values. This could be classed as good though as it means the views of other people will be taking into consideration to help decide whether or not we believe typography does communicate brand values and the answer will come solely from this research.

Source: Essay UK -

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