Why shall I use different Fonts and Typefaces?
I recently wondered why people seem to be not so interested in my hobby fonts than in the more lighthearted subjects like “wordpress tips” or “getting to know about Helen what you didn’t dare to ask”.
Nicole Bandes came across with a suggestion that people might not know why using different fonts.
I started that series last year after talking to some friends who used to tell me that they are usually using “Standard fonts”. Standard fonts are fonts like Arial or Times for them.
My purpose for that series “Font of the Week” is to make you guys aware that there are so much more fonts than just Arial or Times or even Calibri. Typeface designers like Luke de Groot or Jan Tschichold haven’t designed the fonts just to please Melissa Barham and Helen Bogun. They are there to be used, by all of us.
How to chose a font?
Choosing a good font is nothing magical. Everybody can do it.
A reason to choose a certain font could be that this special font is available!
That’s why programs like “MS Word” come along with different fonts. You have the opportunity to choose. Certainly they will adjust any text processing program and any layout program with a certain default font. They have to, otherwise the program won’t work. But that doesn’t mean that you have to stick to that font.
I can only encourage you to explore the fonts of your text processing program and just dare to use another one too, or even two or three. You can set up style sheets to make the usage easier.
Another reason for choosing a certain font can be certain “Emotinal effect”.
It depends on the purpose of the text. But I guess we all have seen ads where some texts have been set in a font that created fear or a pleasant mode. Texts that really jumped into our eyes.
You chose a font for the purpose of the text. Usually a novel is typeset using a serif font like Times, Garamond, Sabon etc. The serifs form a line and make it easier to follow the text.
Books for children will be typeset using more playful fonts like Comic Sans or Script fonts.
You will never find such kind of fonts be used with traffic signs.
Examples on traffic sign “STOP”
We all connect a certain font with a different feeling.
Examples on Emotions and Effects
Sans Serifs are more clear than Serif fonts. Serif fonts are regared to be more traditional and conservative. Emotions are transported with the font. So we can use the font to create a certain emotion too.
A very important reason for choosing a certain font is “Legibility”.
Guess we don’t have to go to the grounds of that. A text which can’t be read is useless! So we are going to help our reader to read the text easily.
When reading we want to separate words and characters easily, therefore the right amount of white between the characters, each character has to be easily to identify. So a font which uses characters which look very similar is not very easy to read.
Examples on Legibility
And the most important point why to choose a special font: do you like it?
No matter what your graphic designer advices, you have to like the font. The font is used to transport your message! So love it or leave it.
It is a matter of taste and a matter of culture, too.
A font that looks great on your monitor, is not necessarily the perfect font for printing usage.
Want it for a book? Set it up the way it will appear in the book, print it, judge it …
Font will be used on the interweb? Than judge it how it appears on your monitor!
Next Friday I am going to talk about the differences between some font groups in general.
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