Sunday, July 29, 2012

Typography: the Artistic Placement of a Word!

Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line spacing), adjusting the spaces between groups of letters (tracking) and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). Type design is a closely related craft, which some consider distinct and others a part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers.[2][3] In modern times, typography has been put into motion—in film, television and online broadcasts—to add emotion to mass communication.[4]
     Typography is performed by typesetters, compositors, typographers, graphic designers, art directors, comic book artists, graffiti artists, clerical workers, and anyone else who arranges type for a product. Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of visual designers and lay users, and it has been said that "typography is now something everybody does."[5]  -  Wikipedia

Leave it to wikipedia to describe it best; typography is defiantly a craft to many of us that work within the entertainment and advertising world. And whether I give it justice or not, I love the act of typography when I am designing a lot of my graphic design projects.

There are times when a few well placed words can make a bigger impact as the graphic image then that  of an actual photograph or illustration; whether it be in an advertisement, business literature or a campaign to promote a product. High end luxury car advertisements can be good explains of this technique. Over my ten years of experience within the newspaper world and independent clients, I even have a few explains of my own typography moments that I'm proud to share.

The most recent moment of typography I created instead of using a generic graphic, was when I created a place card for the safety pin baby boy charm favors we made for my sister-n-laws baby shower. We found a scrap book paper we loved for a background but it needed a little something else, and why not state the obvious, it was for "Baby Boy Chandler".

I couldn't just type "Baby Boy Chandler" in a straight line, that would be boring. So I decided that the BOY was to be the big focus in this grouping of words and used that one word as the backdrop to the baby's nick name "Baby Chandler". As the header to the favor, it was a great addition to the cute charm pin we had made.

In many advertisements, flyers, posters and other printed material, a grouping of words can make a great header when there is to be a lot of graphics used within the majority of the page, and one more graphic image at the top of the page may be just too much.

As shown here in the RV Sales ad I created, the header is a grouping of words, in different colors, sizes and placements (stacked, side-by-side etc...) to get the customers attention, but without adding one more graphic to the page and distracting from the more important elements; like the RVs for sale.

Along with advertisements; mass mailers need to make a big impression, and quickly as possible. Most people take one look at the front of a magazine, brochure, post card or flyer; and either keep it or chuck it! If the color doesn't POP and the message isn't easy and quick to read; you wasted your money.

When creating a series of post cards for my brother's real estate business, we needed to come up with ways to keep the potential clients interested and him out in front of the competition! We had started with a seasonal theme; the jumbo post card below was a great start. The colors were bright and the text was placed in a way that didn't clutter the image. By using the different textures in the picture to frame the text, I was able to artistically place the words in such a way, a layer of imagery was created to enhance the message. A Great Start to a fun series of post cards.

Well as time goes on, I hope to continue to find fun and "WOW" popping ways to use the skills of typography in all my graphic design jobs.

New Post Still to Come:
   • The Ottoman transformation
   • Birthday Invitations - printed and digital
   • Fabric, note cards and home decor; great inspirations


  1. Love the Baby Boy Chandler pin cards, they really gave the pins that extra something.

    1. It defiantly pulled it all together and made it a great way to display our cute charm pin.


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