The large, and continually growing, a variety of typefaces available to designers provides limitless possibilities to add character and depth to any project. This double-edged sword of possibilities, however, can also present a beguiling forest through which a designer can easily lose their way, in an earnest attempt to find that one ideal font for their project. It is both a daunting and an exciting prospect …to choose from among so many fascinating letter forms.
The staple, old reliable fonts, like Helvetica, Arial and Times New Roman can always serve the purpose of carrying your message in words …and, to some, this is the extent of the typeface’s purpose. But why would anyone want to stop there, when the options to bring more life to your message run the gamut to an almost absurd degree? Choosing the right typeface delivers your design a crucial aspect of its personality. Over time, how that typeface is perceived changes as well… Nobody can predict if your designs today will hold up tomorrow, but we can easily avoid creating work that already looks dated by choosing yesterday’s fonts.
So, what is currently trending in the vast cosmos of font options available for designers today? 2017 has reportedly witnessed the appearance of hand-lettering or typefaces that mimic handwritten forms and characters. Perhaps emerging as a reaction to an abundance of the overtly digital, the organic feel of these handwritten fonts are a refreshing change. In place of clean, crisp and clinical, designers can instead achieve a warmth and nostalgic appeal.
Although a cardinal rule of graphic design is limiting the number of fonts in any project to two or three, the use of varied faces from a variety of different styles is currently seen to be en vogue. Fonts that wouldn’t traditionally be paired together can create quite an impact when combined in the right way. Violating old rules can create high impact by mixing script fonts with serifs or bold-faced fonts with thin or lightweight fonts and other contrasting elements. These effects can be heightened further in your designs with the introduction of complementary or contrasting colors along with unconventional palettes.
Skillful or innovative use of typography alone could even see your designs foregoing the need for any imagery at all. It may be a useful exercise to challenge a reliance on photographs or illustrations to take the burden of catching the viewer’s eye and carrying the message.
On the technical front, Adobe has recently introduced their OpenType® font file format which they developed in collaboration with Microsoft. This extension of the TrueType format not only provides cross-platform compatibility between Macintosh and Windows systems, but also support for expanded character sets, layout features and advanced typographic control. Any given typeface’s collection of glyphs in a PostScript font had been limited to 256 but, with OpenType® fonts, the number of glyphs can range to 65,000 with variations in point sizes, alternates and ligatures.
The thousands of fonts currently available, along with recent technological advances in the industry, provide an ever expanding creative horizon to today’s designers. The challenge is in how to best use these available tools to realize your vision… Contact us and we’ll help you to create that vision!