Design Pointers: Fonts

cruzader

Dedicated Member
Dec 28, 2006
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#1
[1] FONTS

[The Briefing]
There are countless books and websites about why type is crucial to design, so I won't go into that. Instead my focus will be more relevant to design pointers that would often pertain to designs (signatures, avatars, banners, etc.) on these boards.

[The Subject]
Fonts are a curious subject. Experimentation with different fonts is often recommended on these boards. Websites like dafont.com and 1001fonts.com have a multitude of fonts for design experimentation. However, one should not choose a font simply because its a new font to use- here is where experimentation is harmful. Using a multitude of fonts extinguishes any real thought into font choice besides that of "have I used this font already" or "did I just download this? " Now, I'm not condoning the use of font experimentation, but what I can tell you is that it should be left as just that- experimentation.

[The Examples]
All these signatures are trying to convey the same message through the use of type- simple, elegant, feminine. (For the sake of example, assume that the best place for the type is chosen)


Using a script conveys all three words, yet becomes hard to read especially for higher resolution monitors. Generally, script fonts are frowned upon by graphic designers because of their association to wedding invitations and similar sort. Scripts also try to mimic the human hand- yet will always appear mechanical with repeated characters. Usually, this is a distraction to the viewer either subconsciously or consciously ultimately taking away from overall composition. This notion also applies to grunge typefaces.


This font is pretreated with elements. Many free downloadable free fonts are altered versions of existing fonts. Many of these will be treated with some sort of graphic element, and in this case a faux 3D effect. While the font itself may be nice, choices of these kinds of fonts can be detrimental to overall design- often by becoming too complicated within itself instead of contributing to the composition


While it may seem boring, it's always best to start simple and build up. Going gun-ho by choosing an elaborate font from the beginning will only make the design process harder. It's best to start with a tried and true classic typeface then expand as needed. A list of "100 Best Typefaces" can be found here (translated from German).

For example on "expanding," if a grunge effect is desired, one can use Univers or Garamond then distress it, distort it, etc. instead of choosing an already grunge font. In this case, simply using the light version of the font was sufficient to convey the three words.

Classic fonts usually come at a price though (legally). However, these fonts cost money for a reason- they usually contain various weights, ligatures, extended character sets, and more.
I wrote this as a helpful guide to those who need it. More topics to come.

 

gruddy

Elite Sage
Aug 29, 2007
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#2
Nice guide.

You should go the whole way and make a huge signature making guide. It would take a lot of time and effort but when complete, it would be a great resource. I can help write some sections out if you are interested.
 

cruzader

Dedicated Member
Dec 28, 2006
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#3
[QUOTE="gruddy, post: 0]Nice guide.

You should go the whole way and make a huge signature making guide. It would take a lot of time and effort but when complete, it would be a great resource. I can help write some sections out if you are interested.[/quote]

It's what I'm planning to do- but I'll deal with more than signatures

I also tried PMing you about this, but it won't send for some reason. I'll try it later.
 

Jaeger

Master Sage
Mar 2, 2008
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#4
The PM function is currently disabled. You can try leaving Gruddy a visitor message, though, but if it's 'private and confidential' then I wouldn't recommend it.

Nice work, anyway, good to see the Design Corner becoming more and more active lately.
 

cruzader

Dedicated Member
Dec 28, 2006
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#5
[QUOTE="Jaeger, post: 0]The PM function is currently disabled. You can try leaving Gruddy a visitor message, though, but if it's 'private and confidential' then I wouldn't recommend it.

Nice work, anyway, good to see the Design Corner becoming more and more active lately.[/quote]

Oh, I didn't know PM was down.
 

cruzader

Dedicated Member
Dec 28, 2006
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#7
[QUOTE="blaze98, post: 0]I plan on useing this :) im wanting to start doing stuff like this[/quote]

Cool. Stay tuned- my next "lessons" will be up over the holiday weekend. It'll be more specific and a lot longer...