Exploring the Typeface Tool Box of Design

6 Feb

Ellen Lupton’s book, Thinking With Type,  gave a great introduction to the world of typefaces and how to successfully use them to shape web content with clarity, meaning, and fluidity. I enjoyed the visuals and the historical tidbits about the history of typography

I even let out a chuckle over Geofroy Tory’s insistence that “the cross stroke covers the man’s organ of generation, to signify that Modesty and Chastity are required, before all else, in those who seek acquaintance with well shaped letters”.  Poor Tory- he might be horrified to experience the amazing font revolution that has taken place in the last 100 years. Those indecent letter A’s.

I noticed in Lupton’s book that there is a large culture of typography designers and history of typography in the Netherlands. Out of curiosity I poked around on the web and found out that Holland has more type designers per capita than any other country in the world. http://www.typotheque.com/articles/dutch_type_design.

The tutorials on www.lynda.com were helpful—I like to scan through them so I can bookmark which tutorial sessions I’d like to implement into the next project. I explored google fonts and downloaded files. Google is free, but I think I’ll check out other sources as well.

After the reading + watching Helvetica, I started to notice typeface aesthetic choices…everywhere. Did they really affect the way I interpreted a brand? What material I focused on while reading a magazine?  While perhaps true—this resulted from an overload on typography and requires a wee bit of a break. So break it is. For now.




3 Responses to “Exploring the Typeface Tool Box of Design”

  1. marthalindsey February 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    I too noticed the prominence of Dutch designers but didn’t want to comment on it because at least once a semester I make the argument of “If you aint Dutch, you aint much!” in a class. (My father had that slogan printed on bumper stickers for the World Cup btw.) We’re also the tallest people in the world… anyways… It does bring up the question of whether different cultures promote a certain type of aesthetic. I know from my environmental history class readings from last semester with Professor Bottoms that Holland was one of the first places to develop and really go with green buildings, and strangely I feel like a community of graphic designers fits in with that impetus. A creative, forward thinking, quasi-hipster national aesthetic.

    • mbarkovi February 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

      Hahaha- that’s a great a slogan! Hup Holland[!!]

      I definitely think that certain cultures do promote a specific type of aesthetic environment that results in standards for the architecture of the surrounding buildings all the way to how the bookstore is curated— For instance, England’s bookstores carry completely different covers [typeface upgrades included] for books under penguin and melville publishing. In this case, I have a feeling that it depends more on the culture and less on the product availability.


  1. February 6 Blog Comments « iprefertobecalledahacker - February 6, 2012

    […] https://artesthetiek.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/exploring-the-typeface-tool-box-of-design/#comment-2 Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: