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Do graphic design consciously: use lettering

11.09.2020

Why can a wrong lettering do a graphic project fail?

Lettering is the choice or the design of a font type to be used in a graphic design. It must follow the principle of perfect reproducibility and rules of legibility, as opposed to calligraphy. Rules are important, but the real skill of a graphic designer is the ability to break the rules intelligently: wrong choices can have dangerous consequences!

“There are no good or bad fonts. There are only fonts that match or not with the project” – (Daniel Will-Harris)

There are some rules to follow when choosing a font: the first rule is to be well informed: it is fundamental to know why a font was designed; you can rely on the web or choose interesting publications like “You are really my typo. The secret life of fonts” by Simon Garfield, which tells in an ironic and brilliant way the history and background of the most famous fonts.

The marketing of fonts: always ask yourself what your audience expects.

Lettering is the soul of a graphic project and its choice will depend in part on the aesthetic expectations of the audience to which the project is addressed. In technical language this step is called: definition of the reaction to the message. It is a fundamental passage in the Graphic Brief. Thanks also to the spread of the web, where mainly non graced fonts are used, sans serif fonts are now among designers’ preferences.

The 90s and fonts: what happened?

The 90s were fundamental for lettering and font design: in fact, in 1991 Adobe’s PDF (Portable Document Format) was born, which facilitates the transfer of documents between different digital platforms. In ’92 Adobe launched the Multiple Master, a technology that allows to generate intermediate variations between styles and gives more freedom to the designer. In ’93 Apple launched the intelligent TrueType GX fonts. In ’99 Adobe launched InDesign.

The ranking by Grucciadesign: three fonts we love.

As we have already said, there are no fonts more beautiful than others, but there are fonts more correct than others to convey the different messages. We have been working within this field for years, so we have our preferences; we find ourselves working with certain fonts more often than others. Here is our personal ranking from third place to first:
3: Futura
2: Helvetica
1: TT Norms