Image by Kipketera

What Can Typography Do For You

I am a typography enthusiast, lover and sometimes fanatic. Sometimes it takes me days to choose a font for a project I am doing. I will have everything else already decided in my mind but the search for the right font can take ages.

Why, you ask? Because typography is important, very important. Seeing certain words in different fonts can manipulate how you perceive them. For example, just write ‘I will give you $1,000,000!’ in Comic Sans and show it to any designer and he will completely block the content and most likely murder you.

Here is a billboard ad showing people wearing nothing but underwear and the text saying ‘We are taking everything off but our underwear’ (in Croatian).
This is an ad by Tele2, a mobile company in Croatia, but originally from Sweden. And how do I know this? How can I be so sure? Yes, you guessed it. It’s because of the font used. It’s not because of me being a designer, other people notice it too.

Tele2 has been using this font from the start and for a while now it can create quite a buzz with ads like this. Sometimes they went with just a sentence without any additional graphics and it was even more effective.
Usually you need to make much more of an effort to be this mysterious and to create a buzz but because of the font we kind of already know what it is about. Probably a new plan for their customers with significant discounts. But no matter what it is the goal is achieved.

KINETIC TYPOGRAPHY

Typography is living the dream right now. Popularity has never been higher. What does never been higher mean? It means there are even Kickstarter projects that are typography based. This one is collecting funds to create a font based on Albert Einstein’s handwriting. Now that is some quality typography porn right there.

One aspect of the typography field is the kinetic one. We have seen a surge of kinetic typography videos in the last couple of years thanks to the music industry. At some point it got too expensive to make videos for each and every single and amateur videos with lyrics have been gaining popularity since forever so the people in charge took advantage of that. Also why give the views to some amateur when you can get the views on your own channel. It is much cheaper than filming a full fledged video, takes less time and the effect is on the spot.

One of my personal favorites is Weird Al’s — Word Crimes, linked here.
Here is the making of the video which is maybe even more spectacular than the video itself.

The next video will show you the true power of typography. In the video American late night host and comedian Conan O'Brien gives a heartfelt speech about his time with NBC. The talk itself is very emotional and moving even for those who have no idea who Conan is (shame on you if you don’t’!).

The question is, would posting it on YouTube in audio form with some static cover image give the same result? I am sure it would not. In short and simple terms: it gives you something to watch so you don’t have the chance to space out. That is what Jacob Gilbreath did here. That is the power of typography. It can use the visual sense to completely overtake all other senses so they fall behind and you are completely immersed in whatever you are seeing.

JOHN HANCOCK OF THE 21st CENTURY

Typography has always been a way to express yourself. That is why Comic Sans became so hated. Everyone wanted to show themselves as cool and funny and overused it and finally abused it so it’s now ruined.
The new generations have a whole new view on typography. For them it has become an identifier as our handwriting is for us older generations. Finland has already taken a huge step in this direction with teaching children to type instead of how to write.
Times are not changing, they have already changed significantly in this perspective so change your attitude respectively if you haven’t already.

Cheers,
Aleks