It is said that there are around 300,000 different individual fonts in the world today. They’re everywhere, so, what’s all the hype about type?
We’re here to break down the basics and explain what font terminology means and why it is an important consideration when designing.
You may have heard both words used when talking about type. Although historically different, today they are interchangeable (unless you’re talking to a type expert!). To summarise, a typeface is the design whereas a font is how the said design is delivered. E.g. the weight and size.
There are lots of classifications of font, many historical so we will just outline the 4 main font categories that are useful to understand. These are: serif, sans serif, script and decorative.
Has little decorative elements (or ‘feet’) named serifs, attached to the ends of the letters. They are considered more traditional.
‘Sans’ means ‘without’, so as the names suggests, letters do not have the decorative elements. These fonts tend to me more modern and sleeker.
Think cursive or handwriting. These fonts usually have joined letters and can portray a variety of styles from elegance to informal and fun.
Often considered a novelty, decorative fonts are designed to grab your attention. They should be considered in use and in small doses.
Different typefaces can suggest different impressions. Consider your audience and the type of personality you want to portray, as well as the context it will appear.
For example, a luxury hotel may choose to opt for a serif font for a traditional, heritage feel, while a corporate business may want to go sans-serif for a contemporary and professional aesthetic.
And last but not least, here are our 3 top tips for font selection:
If you’re keen to find out more – check out our terminology blog which touches on specific elements of type.
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