Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Books: Just My Type

For the past while I've had my eye on a book titled "Just My Type," but I didn't want to buy it and Rapid City library didn't have it. That is until I found it at the library close to our NJ home.

Erin calls me a nerd for so quickly devouring a book about fonts. It's a little bit history. A little bit opinion. A little bit design. A little bit motive. And a lot about people. I loved learning how and why type designers made the fonts they did and how our 26 letters in a specific design became famous (Times New Roman) or infamous (Comic Sans).

Did you know that years of research and design went into the type that directs us on the highways, through the subways, and around an airport terminal? 

Did you know that a creator of a popular font hundreds of years ago threw all of his metal lettering into a river so his rival partner couldn't inherit the type? 

Did you know that this symbol, &, is called an ampersand and is shorthand for "et," the latin word "and?" 

The Swiss font "Helvetica" is everywhere. Below are a few famous companies that use Helvetica to get their brand noticed.

Notice how Lucky Charms uses a fat, bubbly font to attract kids, and Special K uses a font that I might have used to write a college term paper. Special K is saying that it's a cereal for adults--kids stay away!

You're probably not someone who notices what font is on your cereal box, but I assure you the designer thought long and hard about which to use. Since reading "Just My Type," my bus rides to and from work have been used to criticize companies for font choices on their signs and billboards.

College Humor made a short video about a conference where all popular fonts meet up to decide if Dingbats should become one of them. 

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