In this exercise we were asked to describe the messages being communicated by the typefaces in the examples opposite. Also to describe the what’s communicated by the combination of what they say and the visual feel of the typography.
I decided to use The Field Guide to Typography by Peter Dawson to help me understand the original or designed uses to some of the typefaces.
- Typeface 1 – Feels like a contrast between the words, which are supposed to be inviting to visitors and the feel of the typeface used. The typeface is one I associate more with Old English, perhaps seen on tattoo parlours, or maybe Bars or Pubs that want a fake old world feel. It’s a little medieval looking – not modern or inviting. I found a close example to this typeface in the book The Field Guide to Typography by Peter Dawson, below.
The use of the typeface fits with the kitsch setting of a designer/boutique shop which wants to appear edgy and modern. The text on top of the heart shape reinforces the idea of tattoo like imagery here.
According to this description (see image left), the typeface in question is a lighter version of more Gothic looking Black-letter designs and is widely seen on fixed signs above pubs in the UK.
2. Typeface 2 – I think the 2nd typeface and message fit together better than the first. The typeface reminds me of Times New Roman or Roman Typefaces and seems formal or serious enough to not detract from the warning contained in the words ‘Do not feed the animals’. The use of all capitals also seems fitting for reinforcing the warning in the message, all lower caps might seem too polite or a suggestion rather than a strong caution.
In the example opposite, a carved version of a typeface called Trajan, which seems similar if not as heavy as the typeface in the example. It carried a seriousness, perhaps reinforced here by being carved in stone. It feels like a permanent statement rather than a passing comment. More information about the typeface is seen in the extract from the aforementioned book below…
3. Typeface 3 – I’m unsure of how to describe typeface three. At first it reminds me of the kind of typeface used in code or computer programmes. I don’t think it’s entirely incompatible with the content of the saying but it just doesn’t quite feel smart enough. I think perhaps another serif based typeface would be better suited to the content.
4. Typeface 4 – Again I’m slightly on the fence with the combination of the typeface and the message. For me the typeface appears more loose or hand drawn and would perhaps be suited to something different, maybe an organic companies slogan. I decided to find some examples of typefaces used by Luxury brands or to sell Luxury goods and see if this reinforced my feelings about the typeface.
In the examples opposite the typefaces partly appear more luxurious because of the gold colouring. Gold colouring aside I can see similarities between them, there are lots of serif fonts, some simple clean sans serif fonts. What is clear though is they suit the notion of luxury better than typeface 4.
5. Typeface 5 – This typeface feels like one that is clear and easy to read. Perhaps better suited to road signs or public announcements, it looks legible from a distance. However it doesn’t have any hand made feel, it looks typed and rigid rather than things. It looks uniform, rather than unique which fits more with the idea of a handmade one off item. I found an example of a similar typeface, called Frutiger, in the book The Field Guide to Typography.
In the photo opposite the typeface Frutiger is used at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam to direct passengers. I think this example showcases my point about typeface 5.
Hand drawn looking fonts are widely popular and available now – for instance the font I use from the headings in my blog. It looks much more organic, friendly, human than the regimented kinds of fonts needed for signs and directions.