Typography is all around us. We interact with it daily: signage on the way to work, the websites we visit, and in the magazines and books we read. Each typeface was chosen based on the tone that it conveys. Hopefully.
As designers, artists, and just naturally talented people, we can identify the appropriate situation(s) for different typefaces. For example, a simple sans-serif such as Helvetica or Univers works well for pieces that require high legibility, like street signage. Passers-by need to be able to understand the message quickly and sans-serif fonts’ clean lines and modern spacing increase readability. People have more time with advertisements in printed media; designers can use scripted fonts or typography art. These typefaces embody and communicate the messages of the ads.
Of course, sometimes a typeface will be chosen and it will clash with the message being conveyed. The hands-down best example of this is the Cleveland Cavaliers owner’s heated letter to LeBron James. Sure, the message seems a little impulsive, full of emotion and jumping from thought to thought, but the bulk of the feedback was that he wrote and published the letter in Comic Sans. A font that was inspired by comic books, Comic Sans is now regarded as the bastard child of typography – its designer Vincent Connare has disowned it.
Consider your font carefully. Whether you’re designing an advertisement or crafted a heated letter, be sure that the font you choose corresponds with your message. Otherwise readers might not understand what you’re trying to say.