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  • Writer's picturerob grayson

Fonts Are Fun!

Selecting the right font can be a challenge. Fonts help set the tone and mood in designed pieces. However, use too many different fonts and you begin to muddy the water. A good rule of thumb is to select one or two typefaces and then use the font variations within that family.

To clarify… because these terms are often used interchangeably; A typeface is a family of fonts but fonts are not typefaces. I know, I know… it is slightly confusing but let’s look at it this way. Helvetica is a very well-known typeface, within that typeface family there are variations of that typeface called fonts such as: bold, italic, light, bold italic, etc. 

When selecting a type family or font consider what tone are you trying to strike; clean and neat, playful and fun, creative, scholarly, frantic, excited, bold, forceful, etc. This will help you narrow your search. Fonts are broken into six basic categories:

Serif - As their name suggests, have serifs. Serifs are rectangular, tapered, pointed, rounded, straight, arched, thin, thick, or blocky shapes projecting from the end of a letter’s stroke(s). The letters of serif fonts are almost always built from strokes of different widths. 

Sans Serif - Are without serifs and are usually made from strokes of the same width. (If you look closely at the letters of most sans serif fonts, you will find that the strokes are subtly sculpted in ways that allow them to come across as being of a consistent width, when in fact they may not be exactly.)

Script - Are usually broken down into two sub categories: formal and casual. Formal script fonts are based on hand-drawn cursive and calligraphic letter-forms that have been rendered with grace, flair, and precision. Casual scripts have a more openly hand-rendered look about them, and their letterforms usually appear to have been created with a brush or a pen.

Blackletter - Are based on the heavy, angular calligraphic letterforms often seen in manuscripts from the 12th to 17th centuries.

Novelty - Pretty much any typeface or font that doesn’t fit into the categories mentioned above. Also known as decorative.

Dingbats -These consist of various ornamental fonts, symbols, decorative designs, and illustrations.

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