History of Type

By: Hayley Harclerode

Typography and how it is used is crucial to the advertising world and as we know advertising reaches billions of people worldwide. It is important that typography is used effectively in order to impact its viewer. Typography is manipulating the way that words look and their arrangement on a page to help give voice to a piece. In advertising, we use words to intensify the message when necessary. However, text does not always sit alone. It must sometimes share the same virtual space with graphics or imagery. When this must be done, there are many things to take into consideration in order for the two elements to work together to create one piece.

Creating a graphic voice for your piece through type can be done various ways; the most common or obvious way may be through your font size.

(A) (B)
Here in example A, font size is varied to show hierarchy and importance amongst the text. There are words that make up on big word, which we see first; TRASH. Then, of those small words there are bolded words or words with more emphasis on them. We see these next. Then we see the smaller, thinner words. The designer of this used the size of the font to create something interesting and engaging without using images. In example B, we have another instance where the big sized words read one as a thought and is the first thing as we read, but as we look closer we can see that there is smaller type that connects the larger words saying something else. The size difference that makes us read two different sentences or thoughts, also makes us look at each message in a different tone: one being more secretive and the other most bold and factual, proving that the size of your font plays a great role in the effectiveness of the loudness or timidness in an advertisement.

However, it is not enough to just play around with font sizes; the font type itself is chief to giving your advertisement life and character. Typefaces are used to reflect a certain emotion or feel. Typefaces are a wonderful way to connect your image and text together.

(C) (D) In example C, a serif font was chosen. Serif fonts tend to represent more of a sturdy and historical feel. The bold serif font relates to the big sturdy boots that are being advertised. The font also has a texture to it which gives us a wear and tear feel, letting us know that these boots will see us through a lot. In image D, the selected typeface has almost a groovy feel taking su back to a time period. Time and era can also be measured and reflected in typefaces. No matter what your subject matter is or the feel you want to get across in your piece, there is always the perfect font. There are so many free fonts out there and it is definitely worth taking the time to find the one for you particular situation.

Something else to think about when uniting text in advertising is color. The color of you font can do wonders to set certain thoughts, words, even letters apart from others. This color can be aesthetic or symbolic. Here are a few examples of how color effects these pieces.

(E) (F)
Example E is in a completely different language, but even so, We know that the most important information is the colored paragraph and we are not distracted from it by the black text that make up the landscape image. In Example F, we are shown a great example of how color can be used, not only on top of an image, but to unify the image as well. The type is red which not only matches and connects the logo in he botom right hand corner, but also is followed through in the red jacket htat the female is wearing in the image. Contrast is another great way to set a graphic voice to your piece. Contrast can be used in multiple ways. Contrast can be portrayed in large text and small text, thinner or thicker weighted fonts or contrasting fon t types such as a hard serif and a script font.

(G) (H) Here in image G there is an example of contrast usint type faces. This adds attention on specific lines but more so, it creates a great visual intrest. In image H, the font’s weight becomes less and less with each word not only for visual lintrest but conceptually as well.

In order to develop a type and image relationship you need to recognize that text and imagery are different languages. You need to decide with will be dominant and then you need to create a relationship between them.

(I) (J) In these two images each contains handwritten text around a female figure which occupies the center of the page. However, though the layout is similar, the text and image relationship is different. In I, the image comes off as more important or at least the main focus as the script is the same size and color in the background. In J, the opposite happens. The figure is second to the text and what it is saying. It uses contrast, color and text size to create dominance over the image.

No matter which takes dominance,text or image, typography is always important and the relationship between the two of them is imperative to the success and flow of an advertisement.