Typography; is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing, letter-spacing, and adjusting the space within letters pairs. ~ Bing
Typography is just wonderful.
From the wet spiralled ink – carefully, delicately, specifically ringed to suit the tone of the words – to the very parchment upon which it is written; the end products of typographic talent are potentially the most astounding art works.
Using a variety of fonts to create shapes and illusions, and complicating the implications of certain words/letters through the use of illustration, a larger meaning is given each to a line, quote and phrase. For example, in Sel Thompson’s Salt and Light, which is photographed above to the right, the line from Matthew’s verse 5:13, new testament, “you are the salt of the earth”, is shaped to fit within a salt shaker. While the verse relates more specifically to the unique seasoning of Christian believers, ‘salt’ in this example of typography can be interpreted as being the very salt on our chips and in our crisp packets. The confusion between fact and interpretation delivers various meanings for each sentence in typography. It, therefore, opens the door to mass reinterpretation and deeper understanding of a writer’s intentions on a far more surreal level.
Whilst surfing the web for font inspiration and typography how-to’s, I stumbled across Posters on Balance, the website responsible for the artist who created these fantastic Fairy Tale typographies. I love how through nothing but initials, colour and illustration we are able to determine the protagonist/s of each story.
I’ve always had an interest in typography and admired it, without ever knowing the name of it. In my head, what I am glad to see is now being described as art was always tabooed and branded as ‘cheesy quotes’ – lines of poetry or guidance which resonate particularly with those affected by love, heartbreak, still in their teenage years or in need of physical or mental stimulation and motivation.
In my eyes, typography is a combination of my favourite things in life: beautiful words, literature, symbolism, stationery, colour, paper, creativity and inspiration. What is not to love?
[I can’t wait to give typography a go in this week’s Stationery Sunday!]
Here are some of my favourites: