Typography Tuesday

07Jun11

I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I last wrote about typography. (If you’re a font geek, you may want to check out my list of common typographic diseases.)

Typography is one of my secret obsessions. Maybe it’s because—as a writer—I know that mere words will only get me so far. Words may impart information, but typefaces convey meaning. Here’s an example:

Don’t Nanumunga  and Fontmoochers kind of make you want to die? Dying is fun! Scurlock and Ovidius Demi are more appropriately ominous. And Helvetica makes death look like just another sentence in a thoughtless corporate memo.

Call me weird, but I’m fascinated by letterforms. There are some fonts I actually find repellent. Others are inexplicably alluring and gorgeous to me—so much so that I’ll actually pay to use them.

My fascination with typography started a few years ago when I discovered Fontplay. The site’s design and navigation haven’t changed much since the late 1990s but there’s some beautiful work there, if you’re willing to dig for it.

Anyway … that was the first time I saw typography as a form of self-expression, and as an art. And since then I’ve amassed a huge collection of fonts. Occasionally, I even use them.

So today, on Typography Tuesday, it seems appropriate to share some of my recent projects. One caveat, though: I’m not a professional designer, so cut me some slack if you can do better. Like most of the things in my life, I dabble in typography simply because I love it.

Curious about the fonts I used? Drop me a note. I’ll gladly tell you their names—and where I found them.



7 Responses to “Typography Tuesday”

  1. I hadn’t really thought of the fonts doing the talking for you before .. thanks, something to think about.
    I use the Georgia font in italic, I found out quite by accident a few years ago that if I used the font in italic it changes the letter a on this font to a nice round one and is very similar to my own handwriting. I don’t write very much (a lot more since I’ve been blogging) but when I do it’s as I think, slowly with no long fancy words (my daughter says childlike) so my georgia italic fonts suits me very well.

  2. 2 hmunro

    I’m glad you’re writing more through your blog, Hallysann! I enjoy your photos and your commentary about them. And I’m envious that you’ve found a font that reminds you of your own handwriting … I’ve never even come close.

  3. 3 dancingbeastie

    Oh, NO, now you’ve reminded me about dafont.com. I followed the link to Scurlock and there it was. As if I didn’t waste enough time without whole evenings of my life being sucked into seeing how my name looks in Carolingian Cursive, or whatever! Gagh!

    Stheriously, though, you know far more about typefaces and design than I do, so I am just happy to follow your lead. Your examples of how fonts affect the message are hilarious. I think Edward Cullen’s handwriting (Twilight? or, erm, is that just me…?!) would look like Ovidius Demi. I can imagine him writing ‘We’re all going to die’ like that in one of his more light-hearted moments.

    I’d love to have the nerve to use some really idiosyncratic font for blogging and emails, but I fear it is the 21st C equivalent of green ink. (Confesses: I used to *like* green ink.) So I guess I’ll just carry on collecting a few in private, and trying out my name in Tengwar Annatar on wet Tuesday evenings…

    • 4 hmunro

      My dear dancingbeastie! I’m so sorry to have led you into temptation (hmunro said unconvincingly, while cackling with delight). It seems so fitting that you should find Scurlock, as it’s one of my favorite “just for fun” fonts. Though now you have me thinking about setting my CV in Scurlock … or maybe Tengwar Annatar. It would certainly stand out from the crowd! LOL!

      Actually, that’s not so far-fetched: Have you ever heard the story of the time David Carson set an entire article in dingbats? Apparently, he found the interview with Brian Ferry a wee bit dull, and decided that making it illegible would at least make it more interesting: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/brainiac/2007/03/do_you_speak_di.html

      And your musings about Edward Cullen’s handwriting made me laugh out loud. “I can imagine him writing ‘We’re all going to die’ like that in one of his more light-hearted moments.” You’re brilliant, BRILLIANT!

      Actually, I’d meant to write you last night and thank you for inspiring this post. I’d sort of forgotten about my typeset “The Peace of Wild Things” until you commented on it. You got me thinking about some of the other fun projects I’ve done in the past two years. So, thank you!

      Cheers from across the pond …

  4. 5 dancingbeastie

    P.S. My husband is a fisherman, and we both burst out laughing at your fishing ‘poster’. I love your list of diseases, too. Hope we don’t catch typoid fever off each other!

  5. Your projects are lovely, like a modern take on calligraphy 🙂

    • 7 hmunro

      What a kind thing to say! That’s actually rather what I was going for … so mission accomplished, I guess. 🙂


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