My first real memory of actually differentiating what typefaces I did and did not like was in a computer class in 7th grade. Our instructor told us to do our typing assignment in whatever font we liked best, but to make it 12 point and something legible. I had never actually thought about what fonts I liked. Could one actually like one better than another, wait…were there really enough to even form an opinion about? I had used times new roman almost exclusively my entire life. I say almost because there was a time in my life when the only font on our home computer was some weird pixel-8-bit-looking something. My dad is what you would call an “early adopter”; he has dabbled in “visionary” land, but for the most part waits to see what it’s all about before jumping in. This is why we even had a home computer. We also had a bag phone in the car.
Anyway, after my first realization that typefaces were indeed “a thing”, I latched onto Georgia for a while. It wasn’t until highschool, while still in my Georgia stage, that I joined the newspaper staff and really saw what a typeface was capable of. I was the front page editor and did my fair share of typeface experimenting. In fact, a lot of my big graphics were mostly display typefaces paired with smaller graphics. I guess I have always favored type over other graphic tools. Though if you saw those early Rampage layouts you’d probably shake your head and laugh at the smack of juvenile flair they all have.
After actually studying visual and graphic design, and inevitably type, I like to think I have a slightly more refined taste in typefaces. And I am definitely developing a voice and style aided by my typeface choices. There is so much you can say just by choosing the right typeface, the right weight, the right leading and kerning. The type you choose really becomes part of the message.
In light of that I think you should watch a couple of things.
1) Off Book: Typography by PBS Arts – which you can watch here
2) Helvetica directed by Gary Hustwit (which you can watch instantly on Netflix, rent from your local video store or buy on DVD here)
Both do a great job of explaining how important type is, and why – if you don’t already- you should care.
Well that’s all for now, hope to see you again soon!
P.S. scroll down for your daily dose of eyecandy – did I mention I love infographics?