When typography is used creatively, it can accurately express and illustrate emotion and create a mood. Letterforms can be elegant and even visually exciting when used correctly. In the way letters are shaped for headlines and logos, they can reach out and get a reaction out of someone. When typography is used as an art form, it does not necessarily have to be read; in fact, it can stimulate the eye and carry a message without ever needing to actually read it.
When letter shapes are emphasized and become part of the overall design, graphic designers don’t have to rely so heavily on actual pictorial illustrations. In fact, some artists use typography as texture in the background of their layouts, or they use typography to create forms in the foreground. When color is added to typography or different weights or movements are given to it, all font families take on their own unique style. As found in many advertisements and logos, standard fonts can look extremely artistic. Most importantly, when typography matches the mood of the layout and appeals to the audience it was made for—mission is accomplished! The style of typography should support the visual communication and help illustrate the meaning behind the text. In other words, headings should mimic and complement the mood and setting of a layout.
Another factor to consider when designing a layout is to address the target audience you are looking for. For instance, if your audience is for young children, the typography should consist of playful shapes and colors. Since young ones prefer primary colors, try to keep the color palette simple or randomly place shapes and colors throughout the layout.
In conclusion, it’s plain to see that stylized letter shapes are an important part of designing and is a fundamental part of visual communication. Readability is a key factor in most cases; that is, if it is not being used as a background texture. Each letter in the alphabet is beautiful and it’s fun to showcase them and enjoy the meaning behind them. (revised 2/13/2006)
Debbie Jensen http://www.debjensendesigns.com