Project Three, Part One: Type & Hierarchy
Exercise One: Typeface Tracing
Exercise Two: Typographic Voice
For this exercise I chose the word, “relaxation.” Originally, I had chose the word “melancholy” since it had a mix of ascenders and descenders, but I wanted to work with a word with a more positive neutral/positive connotation. I settled for “relaxation” since it wasn’t overtly positive or negative and I thought it be challenging to find typefaces that best represent the word. It also had ascenders and an “x” in the word, so I could see how different typefaces approach the x-height.
Helvetica Neue Regular
I first chose Helvetica Neue Regular because I wanted a control typeface to compare the rest of my selections against. Helvetica Neue is a ubiquitous and relatively neutral typeface, so I thought it be familiar to the eye and give insight into the word itself. Like most words, “relaxation” looks good in Helvetica Neue, which I suppose is why it is so common. I have no strong feelings of whether this typeface is the most appropriate for the word or not.
Didot is very different from the neutral Helvetica Neue. It has tight, fixed-width serifs, which makes the text come off as more “elegant.” I think Didot does a good job of representing the word. It embodies an elevated and more refined “relaxation.” With the rise in popularity of yoga, fitness, and a generally more health conscious society in the United States, I feel that this is a good association for the word to have. “relaxation” is in many ways marketed as luxury in today’s world and Didot helps this achieve this.
Like Helvetica Neue, Futura Medium is sans serif, but the heavier lines and blocky “a”’s give the typeface a more playful feel. I find this to be an equally appropriate fit for the word since “relaxation” can also be interpreted as being carefree.
Avenir Light is a sans serif typeface similar to Helvetica Neue. I feel that the light weight of the typeface gives the word appear more laid back and less like something you’d find on signage. Also, I like how the top terminal of the lowercase “a” is disjoint from the top of the round part of the letter, where as in Helvetica Neue, it flows into the loop. It gives it a slightly carefree appeal while at the same time maintaining neutrality. The fixed width of all the characters also helps contribute to this.
I feel that Optima Regular is the best typeface to represent the word “relaxation.” The varying widths of the lines and the thickness at the terminals of each letter give a very comforting vibe. As a whole, the weight is slightly lighter than Helvetica Neue, which gives off a more carefree, relaxed feel like Avenir Light. The terminals themselves are slightly concave at the ends and remind me of a gentle, comforting grip. I could see this typeface used for the word “relaxation” on skincare packaging and lifestyle magazines, as it embodies the most traditional interpretation of the word “relaxation.”