What’s the Deal with Ty·pog·ra·phy?

Ask any marketer or graphic designer whether or not typography is important in the world of advertising and you may observe a few quick eye rolls, a handful of frustrated sighs, and the quick mention of why one should never, ever use comic sans. Like ever.

Typography is an incredibly important concept to consider when designing anything for the public or more specifically, a target audience. So what’s the deal? Why is it important? Typography is just a collection of words written in a certain font, typed up quickly by an individual, and then thrown together with minimal effort, right? WRONG - Cue obnoxious buzzing sound. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. First and foremost, typography is way more than just a font or typeface. There is a strategy behind what typography an organization uses in order to create a relationship with readers and viewers or placing a visual or emotional representation of a company’s brand. Typography can be responsible for illustrating the personality of a company, its vision, and the ability to enable customers to identify with its mission.

If you’re still not convinced, and believe that typography is not an important tool in the world of marketing, advertising, and design, then think about and envision the logos of your favourite brands. Coca-Cola, for instance, has a very fluid and effortless typeface, iconic and incredibly familiar to the general public. The red, and sometimes white font, illustrates the smooth, cool, and refreshing taste of Coca-Cola we’ve all been conditioned to recognize. The typeface is so tailored to the brand, that anyone who is familiar with Coca-Cola, recognizes and familiarizes the white, seemingly handwritten text with Coca-Cola and its products. We are immediately transported back to the early days of the curved, hour glass bottle, leading us to reminisce about the happy, memorable, and more simplistic moments in our lives. The relationship between the silhouette of the bottle and the logo work together harmoniously, creating a sense of familiarity and nostalgia for consumers and contributing as a whole, to the very identity of what Coca-Cola is about. Even if the logo is left on its own, like the bottle without any packaging, consumers are able to recognize that it is Coca-Cola. Typography doesn’t just help make a piece of text visually appealing, but rather, it creates strong relationships amongst other elements of  the packaging it is so very carefully and strategically displayed.

Typography is especially important in the world of digital design. When it comes to social media platforms and websites, typography can place a huge impact on the meaning of words (think about how no one writes in all caps unless they feel the need to scream). A stricter, bolder, sans-serif typeface can illustrate a level of seriousness, and possibly, a darker tone or underlying vibe within a website, creating a melancholic atmosphere. Alternatively, a more fluid, light, and softer text can enable a consumer or website visitor to relate to a happier and more unified vibe.

The use of typography is so vast; it cannot be explained nor defined within one blog post. Because of its flexibility and versatility, we can achieve, create, and illustrate so many concepts with the use of typography. With the addition of colour, sizing, scaling, spacing, and kerning, we can create a logo or an idea that represents a brand and how it is viewed or perceived by consumers and potential employees on an international scale. After considering all of these details, we can further examine and deconstruct the very framework of a particular typeface.

The structure of a typeface involves the examination of its, “anatomy” as Toni Kukurin mentions in his article titled, “An analysis of Typography on the Web.” Who would’ve thought, that the very structure of the words that we use and how they are presented could even remotely be connected to the complexities and mysteries of the human body itself? That’s what is so special and exciting about the world of marketing and design. Typography can represent so many things and it can really help an audience gain a greater understanding of what an individual or organization is trying to convey. Typography helps us understand the world around us, it helps us create an emotional connection to the meaning of certain words or even help further explain intriguing visuals.

If you’re really interested in learning more about the importance of typography, download fonts or typefaces that you find interesting and experiment with them. Create advertisements and manipulate the text, experiment with the advertisement’s meaning if you change a certain word to a different typeface. Beginners interested in the world of typography should check out free websites such as 1001 Fonts or DaFont, in order to get a greater feel of the importance of some of text and the impact it can make.

So now that you know how important the typeface we use in the marketing world is, you can decide how you can use it to your advantage. We hope that this new knowledge and insight is helpful and enables you to enter the marketing world with a new perspective and ability to analyze advertisements, public service announcements and even just the manner in which words are presented and viewed by marketers and designers in everyday life. So cue the applause and heartfelt apology for doubting us for a second, and believing that typography is not that important.

Kelci HilfertyComment