2020 Topic 12: Typography
Hi everyone, Keren here, looking at our new topic : Typography.
Typography can elicit an emotional response, build a brand, structure a page or piece of art and communicates words in a different way. We've seen a turning to dislike certain fonts such as Comic Sans (remember that one?!) and this also is a good example of how certain typography is fashion led. It's been quoted that the first real example of typography is the Guternberg Bible that was the catalyst for typography in the West and that font used is in use even today (although, text and design can be dated back from 11th Century East Asia.) Typography changed more rapidly when things turned digital. We now have access to a myriad of fonts and typefaces. As an aside, a typeface and font are different. The typeface refers to a family of fonts and the font is the collection of sizings, weights and style of the letters. Whatever your preference; the scripty curly alphabets currently in vogue or more simple plainer text like American Typewriter, combining these and playing around with their size, position, colours and negative space is the art of typography.
Firstly, is this bold bunch of letters decorated using Hot Picks stamps by Lotte Christianson.
Next is this beautiful page by Claire Snowdon incorporating a tonne of different fonts including book pages. It makes your eyes dance between the words.
This next textured beauty from Sandra Reynolds has a real mix of words, letters and numbers, yet there's plenty of 'space' to rest your eyes upon.
For those of you that are interested in the technical side- here's a quick infographic (which ironically depend on good typography for clarity.)
I think lots of us when thinking of typography will have similar images to this in our heads; wooden blocks used in printers trays many years ago. With a resurgence in popularity of Letterpress, these are now pretty collectable. This example shows just how a juxtaposition of different fonts, upper and lower case can look so beautiful.
Typographical designs get clever when they're arranged to denote a familiar image but using the words to describe phrases linked with it. The linked article is a fascinating look at how typography can be a visual influencer.
Words are everywhere, and so is typography. What we rarely consider is that there is a psychology behind the fonts and colour that we see and how this affects us. This link explores more on this topic.
Typography can be seen artistically in fashion and also in art quilts. This is a quilt that uses texture, words and negative space to achieve a calming, gentle piece of fabric art.
Typography isn't limited just to the digital. Whilst this example may have been created digitally it's a good starting point to consider how doodling, designing and being artistic in creating your own fonts and typographical art could be incorporated into your journalling or artistic endeavours.
For years, scrapbookers have utilised typography, picking the perfect font to match the emotions or events described in their memory recording. Using different papers to decorate die cut letters is a useful technique. This idea would look fabulous using stamped papers.
Typography doesn't have to just use paper, I added this example for fun. I'm not sure the art would last long but it's a great example!
The way that letters or words are arranged is another aspect of typography. Letters don't need to be plain, but when simply rearranged, give a new energy to a word.
Sometimes using the alphabet in its correct order as a bold graphic background can be a strong design statement. This journal cover has a wonderful almost ombre textured look.
We also mentioned at the beginning how typography could elicit emotion. This font, and the arrangement of it seems to perfectly fit with the style of the drawn images and the sentiment.
Another aspect of artistic typography is using words and phrases, cleverly arranged to form portraits. This is a really striking example carefully following the contours of the face.
One of the more recognisable modern art structures fits into our topic perfectly. Robert Indiana created this which is an iconic piece and the design even made its way onto a postage stamp too!
How about using a single letter and adding a design onto it? Whilst not strictly typography, it fits our theme well and is rather beautiful in its natural simplicity.
This next example hasn't been chosen for its literalness, but because it uses a technique you might like to emulate. Using the same main word and exact font, they've folded back certain parts so when put back together it completes the whole. You'll notice the lower words are in fact the definition too!
Lastly I've included this rather dreamy set of artist blocks that use typography in a simple but impactful way. Using book pages as the background and 2 other fonts, they've been sparing enough with the words that it doesn't clash nor look overdone. Just gorgeous.
I hope this typographical collection has spurred you to look around you. Typography is absolutely everywhere, from the TV titles of our favourite programmes, the food we eat and what we see on the internet. There are so many wonderful ways of using this in our art.