Garfield: Flavors of Speach

Typography is a newly found love for me. It is amazing how quickly you can “read” the something without ever reading the words. The example of the text used for the title Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was a perfect example, but there are countless others. The typeface used in my Gameinformer magazine is entirely different than my wife’s Real Simple Magazine. Color just adds another dynamic to the formula. Once you are aware of these elements that appeal to our senses through nuances, it’s amazing how apparent they become! Incredibly effective. I included an image of Thom Yorke done in typography that uses an integration of typeface, size, color that I think illustrates what i am talking about. 

In a day and age where nearly any writing we do is entirely digital, ignorance of what goes into making an aesthetically pleasing text runs ramp-id. I fell into that oblivious group as well. I was entirely shocked to find out about specific spacing between certain letter combinations, and the mathematics behind simply changing a font size. One could spend a lifetime just studying the alphabet! And as superfluous as that may sound, we all know that how the letters look affects how we read them. Most of us would probably address the typeface in the Bible or other sacred text a little differently than the coupons for Walmart. Thank goodness for the subtleties of life that influence me on an unconscious level daily… Right?

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8 Responses to Garfield: Flavors of Speach

  1. Tiny Trance says:

    I also liked the example of the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I never thought about how a font can be male or female but it makes sense that, in the most stereotypical form, certain fonts do look more masculine or feminine. I thought the example of Vicki Walker was funny because I used to work for a healthcare staffing agency and there was a woman who sent us employment needs in all capital letters all the time. While the employment needs were probably urgent it was overwhelming to read her emails and when I read them I would use my yelling voice in my mind. It was also interesting to learn about how “founts” came to be during the time of Gutenberg. I can see how, after that long process of creating books that they would be precious commodities.

  2. You have a good point in saying that there are so many different elements that influence the way something is read. The typeface, as well as the color, as you pointed out are both essential parts of knowing your audience and who you are talking to. I absolutely agree with your statement that one could spend a lifetime studying the alphabet. It is entirely true. Countless hours could be spent on just finding the origin of a typeface.

  3. i love equestrian says:

    The mathematics that go into font making amaze me and make my brain hurt! I can’t imagine how much time it must take, even today to create a font. It’s kind of sad that we are losing the authenticity of fonts to digital.

  4. 6blackholes says:

    It really is so amazing that so much thought is put into different fonts. You stated that the elements of a text appeal to our senses through their nuances, and I’d like to build on that thought. I actually think that the more subtle a font, the more effective it is. When a font has crazy stuff going on, it’s more of a distraction than visually interesting. Little things like the serifs on a font are simple and not distracting, yet they change the whole feel of a text. I also agree that color can have the same effect.

  5. Color can add so much difference. One color or a group of colors can make someone feel a certain way. The opposite of mood ring. Or like fonts color can show gender. Pink is for girls and blue is for boys. Adding color can relax the mood where as seeing something where as seeing a font in all black shows seriousness.

  6. I woud completely agree that after i read this chapter that when i see a logo or a picture of text i tend to realize how awesome it actually is. It really is incredible how much we take the written language and printing for granted. We grew up in a time where it was always around us, it was never a challenge to get the written word out. It will be interesting to see what the next thing with text will be. We are using it for so many things now, and in so many different ways, it will be cool to see how we will use text in the next age.

  7. purplesole says:

    I really liked your post and your analysis of typography. You started out by saying you can “read” a typeface without actually reading the word. In some cases I believe a designer who is sensitive to typography can create a piece where the emotion and feel is conveyed despite the language being different than the viewers. Before you type a single letter, your typeface already has something to say.

  8. Great post, it’s an interesting point you bring up with the difference in typefaces for you and your wife’s magazines. Any trip to the grocery store further proves this, you can see many different magazines aimed at different types of readers and the various fonts and texts they use to lure them. I was also unaware of how complicated the process of making text could be, it is amazing to think about all the study and work that must have gone into this field that brought us to where we are now from the plain and simple typewriter.

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