5 Fun Facts About Typography

Do you have a go-to font? Do you wince whenever you see a PowerPoint in Arial? For anyone who works in design or marketing, learning more about fonts, lettering, and characters—the art of typography—is a fascinating rite of passage. In marketing, the font you choose can have a significant impact on how customers perceive your brand, which is why it’s a critical component of the brand development process. Here, we share five intriguing things about typography. 

FONT CLASSIFICATIONS

There’s actually a very detailed classification system for organizing fonts. They fall into at least four general families: serif, sans serif, scripts (like calligraphy), and decorative/display fonts. Serif fonts like Times New Roman or Baskerville evoke classic print media for a more traditional look, while sans serifs like Verdana or Helvetica suggest modernity and simplicity, a popular choice for web marketing. Some designers add “monospaced” as a fifth category—the type of font produced by typewriters. 

THE OLDEST FONT

The first typeset font was used by Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the first printing press, for his landmark printing of the Bible in 1440. Called textura, this font was a form of blackletter, a style that mimics the elaborate calligraphy of handwritten medieval manuscripts. In fact, you can still see blackletter fonts today; just look at the masthead of the New York Times!

FONT PSYCHOLOGY

What does your favorite font say about your personality? Quite a bit, according to a study from Wichita State University. This study found that sans serif fonts like Arial speak to all-purpose personality types, while Times New Roman appeals to the more traditional. If you’re creative and funny, you might love Script, whereas assertive people prefer bold modern fonts like Impact. 

THE INTERROBANG

What the font?! At the top of the list of punctuation marks that need to make a comeback is the interrobang, which combines the question mark and exclamation point (?!) into one. This versatile punctuation mark is used to ask an excited question or to express disbelief in question form. 

PANGRAMS

Students of typing classes may remember sentences like the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. These sentences use every letter of the Roman alphabet at least once and are called pangrams. Outside typing classes, they’re excellent for testing how new fonts and designs will look. Check out this fun list of new and unique pangrams!

THE BOTTOM LINE

We took a vote and the Madak team is a big fan of Barlow, which is a Google font. We frequently use Google fonts for ourselves and our clients. Not only are they free and consistent across all Google apps, but they also function reliably on websites which is essential for good performance. The next time a website or advertisement catches your eye, take a look at the font and think about the assumptions you’re making about the brand or product, then see if it lines up with the truth. You’ll start to see just how much typography tells us about brands!

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Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.