The Norwegian artist Ottar Helge Johannessen turned me into a type nerd! His passion for various typefaces and what they communicate has stayed with me ever since he taught me art when I was 18 years old.
This post is about fonts and typefaces but before I get going, as it's St. Patrick's Day tomorrow, I'd like to share the Winner of the 2023 Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film. Because it is beautiful. And Irish.
An Irish Goodbye is a black comedy about the reunion of estranged brothers Turlough and Lorcan following the untimely death of their mother. Written and Directed by Tom Berkeley and Ross White. I hope you'll click the link and find twenty minutes to enjoy it!
Now...... The use of fonts and typefaces in logo design is an important aspect of creating a brand identity. It helps to communicate what the business is about. Different fonts and typefaces can evoke various emotions, convey different messages and can ultimately impact how people perceive a brand.
A typeface is defined by a particular set of characteristics. Most modern typefaces fall under one of two categories: Serif or Sans-serif. Rules are meant to be broken and that goes for typography as well. However, when working with visual communications, the psychology of ‘Serif versus Sans-serif’ has to be considered. It just does.
Serif typefaces, with its small lines or flourishes, are commonly used in traditional and conservative industries such as law and finance. They convey a sense of formality and authority. For example, the logo for the Irish Times uses a serif font, which reinforces the publication’s long-standing reputation for serious journalism. Sans-serif typefaces are clean and has simple lines, these typefaces set a contemporary tone. It is a popular choice for companies in the tech and finance industries. One example of a company that uses a sans-serif (Helvetica) in its logo is Microsoft.
Then there’s handwritten typefaces, script typefaces, decorative typefaces, etc, etc, etc, not to mention all kind of variations of the typeface, such as bold, light and italic. This is the definition of a font; it’s a size and weight within the typeface style.
Despite having worked on some big-budget branding projects, I have never had the chance to develop a custom made typeface for a brand. But others have. The Airbnb logo is a perfect example. Their font is called “Cereal.” It’s playful, modern, and it reflects the company’s core values of community, inclusivity, and creativity.
If you have [another] 14 minutes to spare (or less if you watch at faster speed), check out this TED Talk. It’s called ‘How a typeface helped launch Apollo’. It's a fun-facted history of typography, where designer Douglas Thomas shares Futura’s role in launching the Apollo 11 spacecraft. And how it became one of the most used fonts in the world.
Happy St. Patrick's Day all!