Sunday, June 3, 2007

SSFS #19 - In the Land of Typography

I remember a time when it seemed almost every scrapper's favorite font was Comic Sans. Yes, I admit that much of my own early scrapbook pages were covered with it...title, journaling, captions - the whole shabang! I am certainly happy to say that those days are over. In fact, I can't remember the last time I even used Comic Sans - on anything.

So, why is typography important in scrapbooking? As many scrapper's have learned, the type you chose to place on your pages can be just as important as the photos or the products you use. They can help to convey the theme of your page or even enhance the very mood or emotion you wish to convey to your audience.

I did a Sunday Spur post on favorite type faces a while back, but since that time, I've found some other really great typography resources I'd love to share with you today.

Here is a great little movie on Typography...basic 101, but very entertaining!



I even learned something from that little clip...who knew I'd been saying 'leading' wrong all this time!!

Now, there is also a new book out called The Ten Commandments of Typography/Type Heresy: Breaking the Ten Commandments of Typography by Paul Felton that is sure to go on my wish list. Here is Amazon's description:

A humorous and incisive analysis of the basic tenets of typography and how to turn them on their heads, this book will appeal to the conformist and the non-conformist in everyone – not just the newcomer to design. One side of this sharp-witted, cleverly designed guide presents the ten main rules, or ‘commandments’, of type design, addressing such aspects of typographic doctrine as legibility, alignment and capitalization; the other shows how type can successfully subvert these rules, presenting ‘sacreligious’ visual alternatives. In support of the commandments Felton includes a list of twelve ‘disciples’, those internationally renowned graphic designers whom he identifies as rule-abiding, including such figures as Eric Gill, Jan Tschichold and Erik Spiekermann. Confronting these are his ‘fallen angels’, including such experimental typographers as David Carson, Jeffery Keedy, Phil Baines and Jonathan Barnbrook.
Want a sneak peak? Here 'The 10':
1. Thou shalt not apply more than three typefaces in a document.
2. Thou shalt lay headlines large and at the top of the page.
3. Thou shalt employ no other type size than 8pt to 10pt for body copy.
4. Remember that a typeface that is not legible is not truly a typeface.
5. Honour thy kerning, so that white space becomes visually equalized between characters.
6. Thou shalt lay stress discreetly upon elements within text.
7. Thou shalt not use only capitals when setting vast body copy.
8. Thou shalt always align letters and words on a baseline.
9. Thou shalt use flush-left, ragged-right type alignment.
10. Thou shalt not make lines too short or too long.
Just as it is great fun to 'break the rules' in scrapbooking, I think it would be great fun to find out how to 'break the rules' of typography and do it successfully. If anyone reading has read this, I would love to hear what you think!

Now, last but not least, I've also discovered a couple great sites for finding new and popular fonts...and they're FREE, which makes it even better!

1. Fonts 500 - This site actually calculates what the top 500 fonts are based on download counts from some of the web's biggest free font archives.
2. TypeNow.net - A great site for finding the fonts of your favorite movie, TV show, musical artist and even video games!
Now, hopefully armed with a few new and fun resources, you can take a closer look at the type you've been chosing for you layouts and altered projects. Do they truly coordinate with your theme or or enhance the intended emotion? Please feel free to share any layouts you've created (or create as inspired by this post) that you feel are a great example of purposeful type choices.

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