Exercise: Topographic Voice

Font: Chalkduster

Chalkduster communicates “organic” well because as suggested by the font name, it uses a rough texture and intentional flaws (such as the gap in g, or imperfectly circular o) to imitate handwriting on a chalkboard. This imitation of chalk suggests a more intimate connection to the earth and nature and simplicity, and de-emphasizes that the user is reading the text on an electronic screen. One might even imagine this font appearing on the wall of a barn, or organic farm. This font is slightly oblique to emphasize similarity to handwritten text.

Font: American Typewriter

Similar to “Chalkduster”, “American Typewriter” communicates organic by reminding people of traditional typefaces with the familiar slab serifs, and evenly distributed letter width. When I see this font, I am reminded of old typewriters, which also draws attention away from the fact that the user is reading on an electronic screen. The concept of old technology ties well with organic, because people associate organic methods with traditional methods.

Font: Kohinoor Devanagari

Kohinoor Devanagari is a sans serif font, with low contrast, and no slant. Some of the curves in the letters almost look square-like (the top right corner of g especially), to highlight the parellel lines between each letter. The simplicity and clean lines of this font parallel the simplicity and cleanliness of organic processes.

Font: Didot

Unlike the rest of the fonts I chose, Didot uses extreme contrast. The serifs give the font a more traditional look, and the thin, clean lines highlight simplicity, high quality, and cleanliness.

Font: Century Gothic (capitalized and not capitalized)

Like Kohinoor Devanagari, Century Gothic is a sans serif font with no contrast and no slant, so it shares a lot of the similar connections to “organic” as mentioned above. The biggest difference between these two fonts is that while Kohinoor Devanagari emphasizes sharper corners and parallel lines, Century Gothic emphasizes round curves. All of the letters uses circular lines. This is especially clear in the letters ‘O’, ‘g’, ‘a’, and ‘c’. However upon closer inspection ‘r’ and ’n’ use the same degree of curvature as well. The curves gives the font a softer, more innocent look, which may be characteristics that are associated with “organic”.