Much like every writer has a voice, every text speaks through its font, style and case. Some text will even go as far as establishing a gender. Typography is defined as the style and appearance of printed material, and it can be seen in almost everything. From the essays students write, to the notes their parents may leave on the counter, typography is everywhere.
In edition to typography, editors and designers alike must pay attention to page design, or how a page is organized and laid out for appeal or print. Both elements are used interchangeably to enhance a writer’s work.
In Simon Garfield’s article, True to type: how we fell in love with our letters, published online for The Guardian, he explains how text has changed throughout time. Garfield mentions how in early centuries, everything was written in capital letters but today, capitals can be interrupted as yelling, and even got a woman fired from her job. He also explains many differences in scripts and fonts and how they have developed. Garfield uses the example of printing a cover for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, while on the cover one would choose a elegant, classy font to appeal to the time period that the book was written, while on the inside of the book, the text may reflect a font that is more informing. Each and every case, as Garfield notes throughout his piece, is different.
According to DePaul University, typography can also be defined as the theory or practice of letter and typeface design which they translate to an art associated with design elements that can be applied to text and letter. Typography has been around since the very first alphabets and even series of hieroglyphics. The university also states in their article that even in today’s highly technological world, typography cannot be ignored, whether the work is being printed or electronically published.
Font is considered to be an element of typography. Font can be defined as a complete set of type in the same style and size. This element is often taken for granted by today’s public as it is very common in software like Word Processor and Pages. Fonts are also made up of Serifs, which are defined by DePaul University as distinctive finishing strokes and variable or fixed widths. Each of these sub-elements to fonts can add its own unique touch to a specific style. DePaul also notes that there are specific style attributes in typography. These include underlining, bold, and italicizing. These are also commonly found in today’s Word Processor and Pages softwares. DePaul also discusses the most important elements of page design. These are defined as the page’s initial layout and spacing. Many other elements of a page design include variable spacing, headings and sub headings, indentations, block quotes, bullet lists, number lists, and tables, figures, and illustrations. Each and every element has it’s rightful place on a page and many can see this in a textbook or web page.
Carrie Cousins, a writer for codrops, a page on tympanus.net, where users can find many tutorials and how-tis on effective page design and typography uses writes about the effective use of typography in web design. Cousins states that type, being the primary design element, comes with its own effects and one must be aware of the effect desired when choosing a design. Novelty Type, as Cousins defines in her first paragraph, is often clean with bold color choices. It is also often bigger and uses strong wording in order to draw the eye. These can be commonly related to the ‘fun’ fonts and styles users may remember from when they were first introduced to a Word Processor. For example, Comic Sans could be considered a novelty typeface. Cousins also stresses the importance of keeping your typeface palette simple as for getting too complicated can pull away from your message.
Together, typography and page design enhance a work so it is outright appealing to the eye and catches your readers attention. With different elements like fonts and spacing, any sentence can be transformed into a work of art. Typography can also referred to as the voice of a piece, translating a writer’s voice depending on the style of the type used in its initial print. One should always remember that the text is not alone in that the design of a page is also important to its appeal to the public. The layout and spacing must not only fit the work but allow all that is supposed to be presented available for a reader. The challenges and creatively both elements bring to the table give editors a chance truly bring a different kind of story to the table.