Typography | Art & Design Spotlight

I can’t believe how far into January we are already! I start university on the 2nd of February and that day seems to be getting closer scarily fast.

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Something else I want to make into a more regular feature on TGWHW is to spotlight aspects of art and design, as well as to showcase future projects of my own, and of artists and designers that I come across. Today I thought that I would talk about one of my favourite design elements – typography. I literally didn’t know that there was a word for ‘pretty letters and stuff’ until about a year and a half ago when I spent a day at a design agency, and I was seated next to a designer who was obsessed with typography and showed me some incredible examples on his Pinterest. Shoutout to him because it was after that day that I wanted to go into design and create my own. Somewhere in my room I have a file of my own typography but I am also incredible disorganised and I have no idea what drawer I put it in (though at the time, it will have made perfect sense) and so today Pinterest will have to serve as my examples.

Typography is defined as ‘the art or process of printing with type’, and I feel that the word ‘art’ is important here. I know that technically typography refers to all areas of text and the vast majority of typed words in our world are simple black and white words on a page, but what I want to talk about is the way that people have taken this boring way that we put words together on a page and thrown the rules out of the window in order to create a beautiful piece of art.

There are several different types of typography, and I’m just going to touch on a few. I think, by far the most incredible one for me is hand drawn typographical art. It takes so much skill and planning and an incredibly steady hand.

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Then, a personal favourite of mine, typography with chalk. At work, all of the walls, tables, signs and menus are chalkboard so I get to experiment a little with this myself and it is so much fun. Here’s an awesome waiting room idea:

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Then you get the typography gods. They are the ones who create incredible design by hand in some incredible ways that normal peasants like us can’t even comprehend. This includes typography made from flowers, or food or paperclips or garbage. It’s these incredible creative minds that have me sticking my nose up to the computer screen trying to figure out how on earth they even came up with the idea. Some favourites include:

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Some of the best typography you find is simple. It’s still black and white, but it tells a message or has a hidden meaning. This is personal favourite of mine.

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Typography is also an amazing, visually attractive way of communicating lots of information that could otherwise be a block of words that people would just skip over. For example, statistics or like below, a recipe that has been transformed into something that you can’t help but to love.

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Then, of course, there is the computer created masterpieces that just blow my mind, because I can’t get over the fact that technology can create something quite so awesome sometimes.

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And lastly, there are the cute ones – the little quotes and sayings and personal things like wedding invitations, love letters, birthday cards and pieces illustrating words that the artist has heard. I love these little pieces because I always think that they are so much more personal, and have a lot more emotion in them than a commissioned piece.

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This post barely scratches the surface of what typography can create. We see it everyday in company logos, band posters, magazines, CD covers, the mug you’re drinking out of right now, statement t-shirts, blog headers, billboards and basically anywhere else you can think of. Typography has the power to get a message across to the public, create a brand for your company, sell a product, spreads the word about a festival or tell someone how you feel. Words have a lot of power in this world, and I think we need to pay more attention to what words come out of our mouths. And typography is the perfect way to express that.

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What do you think about typography and design? You can also find all of these pictures and way more on my Typography board on Pinterest.

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