Immerse Yourself in Typography

Introduction

Fuzzco is a design company that creates brands, websites, videos, photos, and more. They have two locations, one in Charleston, South Carolina and another in Portland, Oregon. This colorful post card comes from their MailChimp collection and is part of a series called TinyLetter Residency Post Cards. It was designed to celebrate a small writers convention in Palm Springs, California, so it contains many fun design features, which combine to produce a very cheerful presentation.

The purpose of this post is to examine and identify the fonts contained in this professionally created post card. These fonts will then be analyzed and compared according to the six principles of contrast presented by Robin Williams in her book, “The Non-Designer’s Design Book.”

 

Typography Analysis: Script

The prime focus of this fun little post card is clearly Palm Springs, so the designer chose to highlight this fact by printing the city’s name in a free-flowing script font. The main characteristics of this font, which identify it as belonging to the script family, include; a hand written appearance, a right slant, connected letters, and curling flourishes.

This font is not sitting neatly on a straight horizontal line —it has a little bit of a curve to it.  As you can see, from the line drawn along the “P,” it slants to the right. The letters are also connected to each other as demonstrated by the circle around the “p” and “r” in the word “Springs.” Last of all, this font uses flourishes, which you can see in the circle around the “g” and “s” at the end of the word “Springs.”

 

 

Typography Analysis: Sans Serif

This font is encased within the orange boxes at the top and the bottom of the card. It is clearly a part of the sans serif family. Sans serifs never have any serifs and they rarely have thin or thick transitions or stresses in their strokes. As you can plainly see, there are no serifs on any of the letters in this font. In addition, it does not have any thin or thick transitions within the strokes, which means they do not have a stress either.

 

 

Typography Analysis: Contrast Elements

I chose to color code the areas of contrast to make it a little easier to follow.

We will begin by comparing size. The script font is a much larger size than the sans serif. I circled the “C” in California and the “P” in Palm Springs in dark pink to highlight this difference.

Next we will compare weight. In relation to its size, the sans serif font has a heavier weight than the script font, which is fairly light in comparison. Look for the green arrows to see how they compare. Even though the script font is considerably larger than the sans serif font, their actual width is approximately the same. If the sans serif font were the same size as the script font, the difference in weight would become very obvious.

We have already established the fact these two fonts come from different font families, sans serif and script; therefore each has a distinctive structure, which contrasts nicely with the other. But they do have one structural feature in common; they are both monoweight.

The form of these two fonts provides the most visible level of contrast between them. I used yellow to compare the difference between the shapes of each font’s letter “M” as well as the general shape of a whole word. As you can see, the letter “M” is very angular in the sans serif font, but very curvy in the script font. The whole word shape they create is drastically different. The first thing we notice is that the sans serif font is in all caps. This creates a perfect rectangular shape. The script font creates an softer irregular shape. These different shapes are created in part because the sans serif font is roman, or has no slant, and the script font has a right leaning slant like an italic. (See blue lines for comparison.) Another reason for this is that the script font is not in caps and has tall ascenders and long descenders. The script font is has soft, rounded edges. The sans serif font sits on a perfectly straight horizontal line, while the script font meanders up and down a bit.

The letters of the sans serif font have been spread out, which emphasizes their horizontal direction. I used red dashes to help point out the distance between each letter in the word “GREETINGS.” The script font has tall caps as well as tall ascenders and long descenders, which tends to give it a bit of a vertical feel, even though it is on a horizontal plane. I used orange lines to point out the difference in height of each font’s capital letters.

Each font is printed in black, but there is more to examine than just the black color alone. The heavier weight of the sans serif is also smaller and spread out, which essentially helps to balance out the over all color contrast between the two fonts. I feel as though they do not have a significant color variation, so this is not an area of contrast. (For the best view of this effect, please refer to the original image at the top of this blog.)

 

Conclusion

In my analysis, I found there are significant areas of contrast between the sans serif font and the script font used in this fun little post card. This contrast serves to highlight the specific information the designer wanted to emphasize in the card. This helps the reader to organize the information according to its importance. The contrast also provides and attractive element to the overall design, which keeps it looking fresh and interesting. There is not all that much type on this card, so the fact they used all caps in the sans serif along with a script font does not detract from the accessibility of the information, as they are still quite readable. These fonts attracts your eye and focuses your attention. I feel this little post card’s typography design is a definite success.

 

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