In 10 Points: Why Fonts Matter?

 

TYPOGRAPHIES ARE OMNIPRESENT IN OUR LIVES. IN THE SPACE OF ONLY 1 HOUR AT HOME, YOU ARE EXPOSED TO ABOUT 60 DIFFERENT FONTS UNCONSCIOUSLY. TYPOGRAPHIES HELP TO MAKE CHOICES AND SAVE TIME.

 

1.  FONTS ARE FUNCTIONAL

More than an invisible transmitter of words, the forms and styles of typography stimulate responses themselves, regardless of the words that are written. They connect our senses.

 

2.  FONTS TELL STORIES AROUND WORDS

There are three types of message transmission by typography:

The typo works with the word: easy and quick to understand
The typo adds an extra to the meaning of the word: can be located in time and/or place
The typo alters the meaning of the word: adds a layer of complexity, implied meaning, food for thought

 

3.  DO YOU BELIEVE FONTS?

Typography can create a false emotion in advertising, e.g. a fast food restaurant that produces at the chain, but uses a font creating the feeling of handmade.

 
 For which one would you be willing to spend more?

For which one would you be willing to spend more?

 

4.  FONTS AFFECT CREDIBILITY

In many cases, typography has an impact on the credibility of the message one wants to convey. We must pay particular attention to it.

 
 Prove the existence of the particle of God in Comic Sans (CERN 2012)

Prove the existence of the particle of God
in Comic Sans (CERN 2012)

  Words look much nicer when they’re hand lettered

Words look much nicer when they’re hand lettered

 

5.  FONTS give you trust

The ease of reading the text can convince the reader to think that something is easy to do, e.g.: Instructions for doing an exercise routine, Instructions to assemble an IKEA piece of furniture, etc. This same facility can also make you feel better about something, so make a decision faster. On the other hand, if something is fancy or requires special skills, you do not want it to be easy to do, so it goes hand in hand with choosing a more complex font.

 Fast-food restaurant vs a fancy restaurant

Fast-food restaurant vs a fancy restaurant

 
 

6.  FONTS and reading

Unfamiliar typography slows down reading and forces the reader to be attentive. It is a good strategy to change the typography of your text to identify misspellings. A typo can also make you look smarter. A student tested whether the change of typography in his essays could influence his grades without changing his study and writing habits.

It turned out that with the typo Georgia, he increased his notes to A, while with Times New Roman, he had A-. It seems that Georgia reads better because of its more open letters, it has a better reading speed and it seems more fluid.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 2.05.21 PM.png
 

7.  FONTS and body language

We react negatively to angular fonts, because we are programmed to respond to these forms; recognizing the danger is crucial for humans. Threatening facial emotions are angular in shape such as fear or anger, so it alerts us to a potential danger unconsciously. Non-threatening facial expressions are rather round. They make us feel friendship and security. There is therefore a parallel between what we experience in the physical world and how it influences our interpretation of typos.

Typography also reflects the way our handwriting communicates our emotions. When we write quickly, our writing becomes italic and when we are angry, our writing becomes bold.

 

8.  FONTS travel time

Fonts make travel in time, they can remind us of memories. Each historical period has one or more fonts associated with it, those that were created at that time. These fonts carry all the cultural baggage of the time with them.

Fonts are like this Instagram filters for words

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 2.18.09 PM.png
 

9.  FONTS GIVE PERSONALITY TO WORDS

There are three categories of typographic personalities:

ELEGANT: Handwritten, calligraphic
FRIENDLY: Round shapes, those handwritten are less refined
DIRECT: Traditional, serif, sans serif more neutral


10.  FONTS REVEAL YOUR PERSONALITY

Typography reflects our values and our aesthetics. Every day we choose products under brands that have a visual that we like. This is especially true for clothes. Consumer loyalty can be questioned if a company changes their logo and if the new typography does not match the customer's values, customers may no longer identify with it.

 
    GAP customers thought that the redesign of the logo suggested that the brand was becoming ordinary, of poor quality and lacking in taste.

 

GAP customers thought that the redesign of the logo suggested that the brand was becoming ordinary, of poor quality and lacking in taste.

 

BONUS: some basic rules...

  1. The ideal size for common text is 8.5 to 12 points (print) and 15 to 25 pixels (web)
  2. The length of a line of text should be a maximum of 80 characters
  3. The current text can be difficult to read when it is centered or justified
  4. Capitalize current text is less readable, and looks like you're SHOUTING
  5. Pale text on a dark background can be difficult to read if it is thin
  6. Never distort (stretch or compress) a typography artificially

Sources: Why Fonts Matter, Sarah Hyndman, Virgin Books, 2016, First published by Type Tasting, 2015, London, UK

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