In the recent skit by Saturday Night Live, Ryan Gosling portrays a man who is plagued by his anger over the blockbuster movie Avatar’s thoughtless use of the clichéd Papyrus font. Ryan’s demons are real, for I too feel the cringe creep over me when I see Papyrus recklessly used on everything from Asian restaurant signs to attorney logos.
Choosing the right font is a process that requires some research.
Font vs. Typography: Learn the difference
More than 600 years ago, Johannes Gutenberg, a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer and publisher, invented movable type and the printing press. The metal letters, numbers and symbols used for printing type were stored in two cases — the “upper case” and the “lower case” — and the collection was called a “font.”
Fonts are part of typography, but typography goes beyond the fonts. The typography is the entire visual style and appearance of the printed piece. Typography is an art form. It is the key to the way your audience processes the information you are giving them. Choosing the wrong font (no offense, Papyrus!) could potentially ruin your message.
5 guidelines to choosing the right fonts:
Benguiat takes us back to the 80s
The megahit Netflix series, Stranger Things, showcases how to get fonts right. As a show that pays homage to the 1980s, the production studio expanded that deference by using the typography of 1980s novel covers for the show’s logo and opening sequence. The result was the creation of a unique, yet familiar-looking logo, using the font, ITC Benguiat.
The variety of font options available to us is immense, and choosing them can be as appealing as standing in front of a candy counter. But trust me, pick the right one, or you will have regrets later.
If you would like further information or guidance on font selection, please contact us.