Typography: The Lost Craft

//Typography: The Lost Craft

Websites and brochures are two very important tools that you, as a small business owner, can use to promote your particular product or service.

The two most basic elements of a web page or printed brochure are typography and images.

Typography includes everything on a page that has to do with letters, and is generally thought of as a branch of written communication. Images include photographs, illustrations, logos and icons, and can all be thought of as forms of visual communication.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words . . . and Worth Some Feelings Too

With regard to images, let’s imagine that we are shown two different photographs of the celebrity painter, Bob Ross. Let’s say that the first photo was of Mr. Ross in a very dark room, and that his face was lit by a small candle that was on the floor. Let’s also say that the second photo was of Mr. Ross sitting in a sunny outdoor meadow. Most of us could easily feel the difference in the mood that each of these two photos would give us. Even if the lighting and surroundings in the two photos were exactly the same, but Mr. Ross’s facial expression in each of the photos was slightly different, many of us could still feel the difference in the mood of each image.

A Typographic Layout is Worth Having Feelings About

In connection with letterforms and typography, the majority of us could easily imagine the difference in the feelings evoked by dramatically different letterforms and word arrangements. A wedding invitation that was created using hand-written calligraphy would clearly feel different that one that was made with the letterforms used on our STOP signs. As with the Bob Ross example, it’s not hard to feel the influence that big stylistic differences have on us.

But, what if the difference in letterforms was more subtle? What if we were again presented with two wedding invitations, and the letterforms of one differed only slightly from the letterforms of the other? In this case it seems that very few of us would be aware of any difference in the mood of each invitation. We would still be able to choose one invitation over the other, but we’d have a hard time explaining why we selected the one that we did. The reason for this is that (unlike photos) letterforms and word arrangements are abstract. We can still feel a certainty in preferring the typography used in one wedding invitation, but because we’re looking at abstract letterforms and typographic arrangements we feel it all in a more subconscious way.

One of the most important skills that a web and print designer can develop is the skill of typographic communication. A good typographer will know how the deliberate and subtle arrangement of letters on a page can affect the subconscious feelings of the reader.

Why is This Important for My Business?

It’s hard to over-emphasize the impact that good typographic design has on a business owner’s web pages and/or printed flyers.

From a marketing perspective, it’s important that you write about what you’re selling in a clear, engaging and distinctive way. When writing about your product or service you’ve probably selected your words with care. You understand that the chances of generating a public interest in what you’re offering is largely dependent on your ability to communicate, in writing, the value of your service or product.

After having read this brief post you can now also understand that the typographic quality of your web pages, brochures, and flyers can diminish or enhance the meaning of your business’s mission statement, your lovingly crafted thoughts, and your carefully selected words. Finally, as your business grows, a strong typographic foundation can expand to help provide a consistent look and feel across multiple sales channels. This consistent look and feel can then become the basis for a strong brand.

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By | 2019-04-23T15:38:59+00:00 April 3rd, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Alex Canelos
Alex has twenty five years of graphic design experience and ten years of web design experience. He studied at Parsons School of Design, has taught 2D design at Pratt Institute in New York, and has a solid understanding of typography, visual hierarchy, and front-end coding. Alex has done work for the New York Times, The NYC Department of Transportation, the Fortune 100 financial services organization TIAA-CREF, Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, the Mount Sinai Health System of New York (formerly Continuum Health Partners), and various New York entrepreneurs.