I’ve just come back from Amsterdam where I had the chance to give a talk about Typography on the Web at FITC. This two-day festival gathers fans of interactive design, technology and ‘cool shit’. Every year, it’s an opportunity to meet with creative coders, interactive designers and developers who want to learn more about design principles. In my session, I provided an introduction to typography which I thought I would share with you too!
We are surrounded by words. Before jumping in the world of beautiful typefaces, designers need to understand the meaning of those words. They are used to freeze our thoughts and eventually share them. The role of typography is to add meaning to words by design, and sometimes to establish tone. Every day, we face the power of words and typography. If you want to transmit a friendly intent in emails you’ll add a smiley On the other hand, if you receive AN EMAIL WRITTEN IN CAPS, YOU MIGHT THINK THAT SOMEONE IS SHOUTING AT YOU!
Graphic designers who master typography are constantly looking for the emotion hidden behind a typeface. I did a short exercise with the FITC attendees – I displayed the text ‘FITC Amsterdam’ in different typefaces to demonstrate the emotion portrayed by each: