Sorry love, you’re just not my type…

by Julian Westaby.

Typography, it’s a funny one and we know that some creative types harbour a great sense of frustration that some of  ‘the masses’ don’t share their love of the craft, the artistry and the aesthetics of typography. If you ask ‘the man in the street’ he might know a few typefaces maybe Ariel or Times, primarily because it’s what comes up on ‘Word’, when you’re typing-out proposals.

Most people don’t really give typography a second thought and the fact that Doctorates are written on the subject and some of the most respected Designers use the tool to differentiate Brands, sometimes giving them $Billion equity values, this doesn’t seem to resonate with some people. The reason for this is that some of the biggest brands have ‘marques’ that are so simple, it looks as though absolutely  no thought or effort has gone into the process. That’s why, when a new ‘logo’ (as the tabloids like to call it) is announced, it’s usually roundly derided by them, filed under: ‘what a waste of money, my five-year-old could do that’.

We’re bound to say this I suppose but we Designers don’t just pluck these ‘logos’ out of the air, we put a huge amount of time, effort and creativity into selecting (or actually creating a special  font) However, it’s often seen as the ‘means’, rather than the ‘end’ of a fairly exhaustive business strategy process. Sure, there can be a lot of aesthetic snobbery involved and this is because designers are designers and have studied at Art College, so any decent ones usually know instinctively what looks ‘right’. A lot of the really good ones take this a step further and set trends. They can inject vitality and make the old-fashioned ‘fonts’ look modern and outdated typefaces look contemporary.

We’d be the first to admit that the art of Typography can often follow fashion and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you don’t believe it’s a fashion thing, have a look at some of these babies, from the 1970’s! The secret to really good typography though is trying to transcend fashion and create something…timeless.

The BBC have a great wee piece on their website regarding the typeface Comic Sans, a font that many Typographic Gurus dismiss as a joke. It’s set us thinking as to what some of the iconic Brands (along with their equally iconic slogans) would look like, using Comic Sans, the typeface that everyone loves to hate…

As you can see, the world would be a pretty dull place without nice Typography.

Some bad examples