Telling the story of a typeface
Writing about a typeface and bringing it to life is an interesting process. There are thousands upon thousands of typefaces that are available online. And it’s my job to tell the story, to captivate the audience and seduce them into buying or at the very least trying the typeface to see if it fits their specific needs. Each typeface has its own background that is unique to the type designer that has created it. When I’m writing about a typeface the most important part is discussing the process with the designer, they have their own specific point of view on how they tell their story. Some are customer driven, others are all about the facts and references, and in some cases, they ask me to propose the storyline and what direction to take, but my favourite is writing about conceptual typefaces, It also allows me to get very conceptual myself and leaves me lots of room for fantasy. First things first, getting down to business. Interviewing the designer and discovering the subject. In this case the typeface: What was the inspiration behind it? Do you have any references? When designing the typefaces did you have a specific use in mind? Are there any special characteristics, or alternate sets? How big is the family? What languages does it cover? In my creative process listening for key words is essential, or in certain cases a particular incident that occurred during the design process can also be a key element went telling the story. I also look for emotions that might be stirred up during our discussion. Emotions are a very powerful tool when telling any story, so I most definitely look out for these when listening to how the typeface was developed. Ultimately, what I do is help, I interpret the story of their typeface with their unique style and creative process in mind - by uniting an idea with an emotion, while at the same time poetically weaving in a multitude of technical information in the process. My goal is to arouse the reader’s emotions and creative energy. Equally taking into consideration the images that will be published along with the font description. Once all these elements are put in place, you can captivate the reader’s imagination, and get people interested in the typeface instead of ignoring it.