How type adds meaning to design

Could something as small as a font change the meaning of words or the entire design? Sure! Font can add a new level of text and meaning to your message.

It can help you connect with the user, build a brand, and set the tone for the entire project. The wrong typeface can make a design flat, scattered, or even give users the wrong impression of your brand. Now, with that knowledge, let’s take a look at some beautiful typography examples from Design Shack.

The mood and message you want to convey must match

It may sound strange, but it is true: each font has its own mood. And just like your mood, it can change with the environment.

This mood helps set the specifics of the project. This is due to how people think about content. It creates a connection between what you are doing and who you are and how people react to you. (Too much pressure to sign, right?)

Building the right connection starts with an understanding of what you want your project to carry, as well as a little knowledge of the different styles and history of type.

Compare messages

Did you mean that?

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Or were you trying to say it?

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The only difference here is in the fonts. See how different these messages are?

Setting fonts for beginners

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There is no definite science for matching fonts by mood. In fact, it is mostly intuitive and you just have to look at the font and the word together to understand what they mean (If you don’t believe that, look at the previous example).

Here are some examples to get you started with different typography styles:

  • Serif: eternity, formality
  • Modern serif: gloss, haute couture
  • Slab serif: importance, attention
  • Sans serif: neutral, simple
  • Condensed: authoritative, intense
  • Bold (Black or bold): importance, stop
  • Script: elegant, distinctive
  • Geometric: retro, kids
  • Monospaced: code-based, sharp
  • Bubble or rounded: friendly, lively
  • Vintage: trendy, cool
  • Grunge: rough, mystical

Avoid clichés

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And here’s the tricky part: don’t fall into the trap of using cliché fonts because of their common association or because you’re not sure what to do. You can find lists all over the internet that tell you which font to use for any type of project. You don’t get that here.

Maybe you want to mix a serif font with lighter content, or make a handwritten font more masculine. As with any combination of fonts, pick one for the headline and big words, and something simpler for the rest of the text. This combination can be more traditional with serif fonts, or more modern with vintage and news-style serifs.

Consider the environment

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An important part of the perception of a typeface is what elements surround it. It can be anything from images to other fonts. Different combinations can make the user perceive what they see differently.

Think of some simple sans serif typeface. In general, these fonts are fairly neutral, and will adjust to the meaning of their environment. Take a look at the two images above for example. Are they perceived differently? The font is the same in both images, but the output is very different. In the picture with the airport, you can feel the hustle and bustle, but the picture with the beach is calm.

Who is your audience?

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There is one more element that you cannot control when it comes to typography and mood. This is how your audience perceives your content and font variations.

Let’s take Comic Sans, which has been joked about more than once. Most designers won’t use it. They will grin and laugh if one of their colleagues creates a project with him. On the other hand, Comic Sans is a popular font. You will find it everywhere – from church bulletins to amateur newspapers and simple signs.

Where you think there is a real design problem, there will always be people who don’t. The same thing can happen with any font.

Users will approach the design from different angles. Let’s take your audience into account in advance and try to predict how they will perceive the design. What will they think of your choice of typography? Are you able to make decisions that align with what they want or expect from the project?

5 fonts that no self-respecting designer would use

Choosing or not choosing a font doesn’t have to be a sad decision. All of us in our lives hurt our eyes when a great design was ruined by silly or simply overuse of the wrong font. Just for fun, here are five fonts that we’re sure you’ll never use:

  1. Papyrus: It is difficult to fit into any design and has serious readability problems.
  2. Jokerman: Any font that has polka dots, spikes, or curls is downright funny.
  3. Times New Roman: Default font from text editors and grade 10 exam tests. This is a normal font, but may have a slight tinge of laziness.
  4. Impact: If you want to shout to your users, “This is very important, you need to read this now!” then choose it. (It was a very nice font … until the memes ruined it).
  5. Comic Sans: Too much has been said about him already.

Conclusion

Your mood, your audience’s mood, and the mood of the typography combine to create an overall feel for the project.

When planning a project and working on its creation, be sure to take into account the mood of your audience. And if you stumble along the way – don’t worry, it happens. Learn from these mistakes and rethink the process with the next project.

Source: inDesign

Author: Clark Douglas

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