The many aspects of typography

Posted on Dec 3rd 2020 by Miira Vehviläinen
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Previously I have dove into the world of colors and their extreme importance when talking about marketing and making a certain impact on customers. To follow up this same idea, now we are going to dive into the world of typography.

Fonts are something we hear frequently often and something most of us understand. However, typography as a subject, might be more foreign to many. Typography is actually the framework for fonts and everything else related. Typography involves all different types of fonts, in addition to how the text is structures and what type of emotions are tried to waken up by the choice of the arrangements. Typography means the whole assembly of visual texts. Typography is a valuable, and could be said a NECESSARY key to marketing, since it is, same where colors are, visual and attention seeking. How the text is arranged, what are the fonts, what are the color of the fonts - that’s what brings everything to life. They affect the mood and assumption of the viewer. Typography can also represent the level of professionalism, or whether it is meant for something more casual than professional - so needless to say, it is vital when creating a visual big picture. It can effect the decision making of the viewer.

So if we break this down to pieces, what is typography as terms? 

Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica… Very commonly known names. And you probably thought that these are what we call fonts? Well, it's not that simple, since these are actually called typefaces. Font actually means the specific way the typeface is laid out, for example Arial Bold, Times New Roman Italic and Helvetica Regular - now we are specifically talking about fonts. Most often typefaces have 4 of the most common font styles: Regular, Bold, Italic and Bold Italic. In addition to fonts and typefaces, there is kerning and tracking, which could be taking into consideration. These tools help you decide how wide you want the text be or how equal between every letter.

When creating typography suitable for your company, this is where you should really put your imagination to the test. Typography is not a new thing, since writing has existed for over 5000 years, so there is not much room left for pure originality. Everything we create today has somehow been inspired from something and that is something that makes for example copyright a bit difficult; but that is another subject as its own. However, if you manage to create a logo with a certain font which stands out from the rest, you have a great deal of advantage. So maybe choosing a plain one like Arial, that might not be the best route to go. 

In the end all fonts and typefaces belong to a bigger generic-font-family. There are 5 generic font families: serif, sans serif, cursive/script, monospace and fantasy. Here, I am going to present three of these, which you probably stumble the most into:



Serif

Associates with traditional typography and makes the overall look traditional and elegant and sometimes even romantic. It is also a timeless font which is suitable for many occasions. Serif is latin and means "a short line in the end of a character".


Sans serif

This is the most simple font style of all and is considered to be very modern right now, or maybe trendy is the right word. It is suitable for neutral and straightforward posts or companies, but can also get creative when used correctly. For example we here in Geeklab use Poppins, which belongs to the Sans Serif family. Sans is latin and means "without".


Script:

This is often used in invitations or in poetic texts. It is often associated with old-fashioned theme and gives the text a bit more personal look.

Font psychology involves researches regarding peoples emotions and associations when it comes to fonts and typography overall. Just like colors, fonts have a major effect on people’s opinions. For example emotions are also attached to typography; happy text are often colorful and sometimes scripted/curvy where as sadness reflects by small, simple and thin text. Thus, you need to do your own research and know what associates to what, so you don’t mess up your company’s image by using the wrong font. 

Miira Vehviläinen
Miira Vehviläinen

ASO Specialist

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