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A typeface says so much more than words

Julia Bernert

Published on 29.04.2020

Aside from the meaning of words, typography also conveys a lot of other information. Font designs help create identity.

Typography can help express a brand’s personality. Even the shape of letters helps support the brand message. The book “Type for Type: Custom Typeface Solutions for Modern Visual Identities” shows the subtle effect that fonts can have, using different case studies and portraits of well-known typeface designers. The book uses examples to describe how visual perceptions of typography can influence our behaviour. Font designers use their design language to construct feelings and moods. Companies use typographical brands to create identity and lifestyle. Typography is able to convey messages and reinforce them succinctly through the wide-ranging forms it can take.

There is coffee and there is coffee

The typography specialist Sarah Hyndman reports on this kind of visual seduction in this video. Taking the word “coffee” as an example, she explains the symbiosis between font and perceptions and accredits fonts with special attributes.

B is sweet and creamy. D is strong and expensive. The font sets clear impulses here thanks to its appearance. Which typeface do customers think taste best? Which coffee do they buy on the basis of which font? Which one do they find less interesting? These are all important questions for coffee manufacturers and vital for decisions regarding company logos or brand appearance.

The Collins design agency visualises an entire marketing campaign for the Exploratorium in San Francisco with one font which sums up the content very well: giant air-filled sculptures in an art exhibition.

The agency underlines the focus of the exhibition with its special typography made of blue air-filled letters. A successful combination of advertising communication using different media and a font that neatly encapsulates what awaits visitors to the exhibition.

Coffee: Sarah Hyndman,
Exploratorium: Collins