You know when someone calls themselves a music snob or a wine snob? It’s kind of like, cool, you’re really invested in something and have passion for it! But did you know there are actually people In. The. World. who call themselves Typography Snobs (yes, that’s capitalized, just like it sounds)? People who will talk to you about x-height, ascenders, descenders, the history, or even how “that font is so 2004.” These are a special breed of ‘snob,’ who seem to care more about the fonts than the words they’re written in.
So, we HAD to ask our resident designer … is Sid a (Capital T, Capital S) Typography Snob?
‘I Heard That Band Five Years Before They Hit the Radio’
Yes. And no. When I see bad kerning (the spaces between letters) it bugs me, and I make fun of it for sure! I may also make a face when I see a font like papyrus being used or perhaps, as bad or worse, Comic Sans.
I feel you Ryan Gosling, I get it. I KNOW WHAT YOU DID!
However, these fonts are universally accepted - even outside design circles - as bad fonts. Plus, they’re hardly alone as “bad fonts” us designers wouldn't dare use. We could lose our designer license! Which isn’t a real thing by the way, but maybe it should be? *Making a mental note.*
‘This Font has Notes of Cherries and Oak’
There are even great articles by typophiles like Rachel Hawley that talk about a font and how it has taken over. For me this article would have been over with a sentence:
“Gotham is a sans serif font that is versatile enough to be bold or sleek depending on the context while being readable. Oh, and it was developed for GQ.”
But a SNOB? I don’t know about that.
‘You Can Really Hear the Tremolo on Track Eight’
Thing is, when you’re a designer you are cursed, in a way, to recognize typefaces. You see them as not just a font but the story it tells.
Serif fonts (with the little hooks and lines) like the ones used in the logos above are usually used to highlight a sense of tradition like in Coach or Burberry. Other times they have a more timeless and dramatic look like with Vogue. There’s a sense of strength from a font like Honda or Sony, or even feeling tired and dated like T Mobile or Florida Hospital.
Sans serif fonts (straight lines without embellishments) like the ones above tend to be more versatile and usually speak to a more modern audience. They can tell the story of being bold like with Target or LinkedIn, or can be more inviting like Airbnb, or even sleek like Macey’s.
‘That Font is soooooo 2004’
I like to think I live in the middle ground when it comes to appreciating the design of letters, while telling the story of a brand. And that’s a good thing, it allows me to be objective while not wasting time.
Here’s the rub of reading this kind of article, now YOU will start looking at fonts more closely, and for that I am sorry. But hey! If you want to make sure your font says the right thing about your business, from logo to letterhead, why not come to the experts who won’t waste your time. Get in touch and we’ll find the perfect font together … one snob to another.