More on Typography Basics

This week we’ve discussed what typography/font does and what it’s needed for.

First of all the most basic statement on typography: “Typography gives you access to information.”

But what exactly is typography? It’s not simply addressing to the letters in writing. It’s more like a letter-system including not only the different fonts  but also the structure defined by things like various heading-sizes (known in web-editors as H1,H2,H3 etc.) or the italic/bold adjustments. This is a very basic definition but for now it’ll do.

Furthermore typography does the following:

  • documents ideas and this way enables cultural development
  • passes culture down
  • gives orientation not only in a text (structure) but through pictograms (simple signs are also a part of typography, there are certain pictographically fonts in Word for example)
  • creates atmosphere and interprets the content (see “Venice”)


looks like a picture in an educational book or a newspaper


looks more dreamy, like a tourist postcard and only because I changed the font

And what is our relationship to typography? Well a good typographical work always pays out since the human eye prefers well structured, paragraphed text 😉 On the other hand, we are dependent on text. Have you ever been to y country where you cannot read any of the written signs? Did you feel the growing despair with time? See 🙂

Oh, and one more thing: If you are a designer you have to be able to convince your clients of why they should pick a certain font. And believe me you’re not going to achieve anything by reasoning your choice on whether the font looks good or bad! You’ll need some “invisible knowledge”. That’s what we are going to learn in our typography class 😉