It is easy to take typography for granted. When I used to work for an ad agency as an Account Executive, I always get huffy every time my Art Director would tell me that the FA (Final Art) is not quite ready yet because he’s not too happy with Helvetica. When he finally turns over the FA, 2 hours late, and telling me that he decided to use Helvetica Narrow, I would sarcastically roll my eyes because I couldn’t tell the difference.
Learning typography in class made it clear that even subtle differences in type, such as appropriate small caps, old style figures, kerning and ligatures can measurably affect how people react to a document or any piece of work.
To quote New York-based designer James Puckett: “I always tell people that the difference between good typography and [bad typography] is the difference between work that looks professional and work that looks like someone threw it together in MS Word. One reason Apple’s stores look so good is the careful and consistent application of [the typeface] Myriad. But Kmart’s careless mashup of Helvetica, Gill Sans, News Gothic and Gotham looks like, well, Kmart.”
Getting to Know Myself in Typography
I went on a little typography soul searching and found some of the fonts that I can identify with. I’ve always had 5 key characteristics that I strive to live by – I’m loyal, kind, innovative, happy and weird. The five fonts that I chose embodies these 5 characteristics:
1. Gil Sans Regular – This represents my loyal characteristic. It is both modern and formal. I included this in the list because this is my all time favorite and go-to font. I wrote my thesis using this font. I wrote all my resume and landed all my jobs using this font. I did all my decks and pitches and got promoted using this font. I wrote my application to ITP with this font. This may sound silly and a bit corny, but I owe this font a lot. I would not have made it this far in my life if not for this font.
2. Penna Regular – I think there’s a certain humility and kindness to this font. I’ve used this once or twice for invitations. The bowl is very wide which seems very welcoming. The ascender is long as if it wants to reach out to you and embrace you. I especially love the counter of the lower case ‘u’, it’s as if it’s flawed, imperfect perfect, raw, and humble .
3. Tesla Regular – I most likely won’t be using this font anytime in my professional life but this font is just crazy fun. It symoolizes my innovative spirt and my transition to ITP life. This font is very ITP, don’t you think?
4. Blenda Script Regular (or Lobster Regular) – I’ve used this font a lot online, especially on blogs and on social media. It’s both modern and fun. It’s very happy, just like me. I love how cheerful and inviting the tail and the terminal seem to be. I especially love the use of ligature of the lower case vowels.
5. Wolf in the City Regular – It reminds me of Disney and the spirit of weirdness and magic that the company represents. If I could make this my signature, I would.
Here’s the fun part, playing with font on Adobe Illustrator:
Faith – Used Myriad Pro modified the ‘i’ and drew the fire and cross on Illustrator.
Stabbed – A slight modification of the Impact typeface. Drew the dripping blood on Illustrator.
Paradigm Shift and Perspective – Wanted to play around with the ‘perspective’ tool in Illustrator.
Vodka – Played around with Futura Extra Bold Condensed, Absolut Vodka’s font of choice. Vodka always gets me drunk all the time.
Warning / Caution: Couldn’t decide which one I liked better. But the ‘i’ is actually from the wingdings family.
And of course, how can I resist not creating an expressive type for my name: