The Emotions of Fonts

I remember overseeing a department of communications for a while.  It was fun and informative, giving me insight into how concepts become articles and images, all designed to convey meaning. This was many years ago, but I remember watching the manager load some new software from Quark Xpress and Adobe Photoshop and commenting on how many floppy discs the upgrade took.  In the process of this upgrade he showed me the book of fonts.  A book!  So many fonts, most about which I had never heard.  I made the mistake of commenting why he needed so many fonts because for the next hour I had to hear a lecture on the nature and emotive aspects of fonts.  It was interesting, but an hour? Regardless I have always viewed fonts differently from that day on.  And now it is your turn.  Here is a small article on the history of fonts.  It is an interesting read, really it is a chart to look at rather than read, but look at it nonetheless.

The last font, Papyrus, is much reviled in many parts of the communication world, but I like it.  But I also like Comic Sans as well which makes me something slightly lower than pond scum.  Understand that these are but a few of the thousand(s) of fonts out there.  Next time you read a paper or magazine, or look at a poster note the font or fonts and ask, “Why them?”  Most likely there was a reason.

About Matt Henry

Middle-aged pastor trying to figure out how to be missional in his world. Loves his wife, his children, and his dog Bear. I have a love of woodworking even though woodworking doesn't always love me. The name is xagete but is pronounced exegete.

Posted on April 19, 2012, in What Tickles My Fancy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Not sure how I missed this one….I don’t spend a lot of time choosing fonts for my personal communication, but I get the article. I was raised in the Iowa State Public School system in the 1950’s where “Penmanship” was drilled into every student from First Grade forward. At the end of Elementary School, each kid had written the alphabet in both printing and Cursive until a standard was acheived,…… about a million times on three lined paper made for the purpose.. It would be hard, by that time to tell the difference from one student to the next by the time we were trained properly to write.
    As a result, written communication was easy to read and no one in your future would have to labor to figure out what you had written. Today, because I was trained to write,my writing is still legible. I find that I tend toward Script for personal e-mails, and Blocky Type for business issues. I’m in the minority, but still think it annoying to see the results of a minimum of 12 years of education result in illegible writing. It’s a good thing we have keyboards.
    As an aside, Fonts really became important as the advertising industry began to understand how much power and influence ($$$$$) could be generated by simply using a font that sold the product better……Never underestimate the power of a good font…………..or the ability to write ones name so it can be read. X

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