Most people don’t realise the power of using the appropriate fonts. Graphic designers and people who work with advertising and typography definitely get it. I’m no professional but I get it as well. People think I’m weird because I pay attention to the kinds of fonts used in Powerpoint presentations, Word documents, even in billboards and posters. Sometimes I tend to go as far as even criticising the use of Broadway on the club names in the Organizations section of last year’s ISB yearbook, the misuse of Trebuchet MS all over our yearbook last year, and, worst of all, the copious amounts of the dreaded Comic Sans MS on every slide of my Physics teacher’s slideshows last year. I mean, seriously, how old are we, five?
I love fonts. I love the right fonts. I like it when the right fonts are used at the right time, which, in me-speak means that Jokerman, Chiller and Broadway should never be used. Comic Sans MS should be limited to childrens’ presentations, and fonts like Courier New exist for a purpose, such as being the standard font for all film screenplays. Over the years my font philosophy has changed drastically, and it is currently at a less-is-more stage. This idea of parsimony can go a long way, though. One thing that the average, amateur wannabe graphic designer (like me) should notice is that all these funky fonts are not necessarily the way to go. There are fonts that are, though seemingly simple, have made a huge impact on graphic design over the past fifty or so years.
Take the font Helvetica for example. Designed by Max Miedinger in 1957 this font has been used virtually everywhere, including the New York Subway signs. When thinking about it, Helvetica seems like no more than another sans-serif typeface, the Mac counterpart of Windows’ Arial. However, when looking at the massive impact that Helvetica has made on style in general, people should realise that fonts are more important that most may think. Personally, I’m a Helvetica groupie!
That’s all the time I have. I should really update more often.