Typography and Communication – Analogy

My analogy for typography is an interesting one. At first I thought of the use of a buildings construction, where the design may be crisp and the interior could be decorated to perfection however the foundations of the building are what hold it all together. However I thought of another more relatable analogy and which is a shoe.

Shoes come in many styles from tall thins heels to functional wellington boots, yet the ultimate shoe is one you can wear for pure comfort, they never let you down and although they may not necessarily be the best to look at they always work. You may want to take time away from these shoes to show off, or to use something a little more functional however you always manage to return to them and enjoy them.

The reason why they are so good in your eyes is because they are versatile. You couldn’t wear heels in the mud and you can’t wear wellington boots to a party however you can wear your sneakers. Typography is much like this as not all type is legible in certain situations, it can be hard at times but there are some fonts that will always withstand the test of time and work with anything.

For example Helvetica “designed by Max Miedinger in 1957, is one of the world’s most widely used typefaces.” (Lupton, E. 2010, p. 46) This typeface is extremely versatile being easily read small and sleek and smart when large. While a typeface like Comic Sans can only be used in certain circumstances and has a completely different style to Helvetica. Simon Garfield (2011, p. 17-29) explains that Comic sans was designed to be user friendly and reminiscent of human handwriting and inspired by the type in comic books. This font now is known for being overused and shunned by critics, this is due to the fact it has been used out of context, in some cases on ambulances and gravestones.

Garfield, S. (2011) Just my type. Paperback edn. London: Profile Books

Lupton, E. (2010) Thinking with type: A critical guide for designers, writers, editors and students. Second revised and expanded edition. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.


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