We often think about the power of the written word, but rarely about the role of the designer in conveying the tone of the word or sentence. The letters, numbers, and symbols are just part of the communication magic that typography creates in our designs.

It’s so interesting to look back and see the real value of the typography, which for many decades has been a tool of communicating and recognizing letters and symbols in physical space. Surprisingly, typography is an essential part of the design, so it is necessary to understand the basic anatomy of the typography types. Five basic types of typography are often a reason for hesitation about which type of font to use in a particular design. Two of these types include serif and sans-serif fonts.

Serif typography

Recognized since the early 15th century, these classic fonts are known as serifs, after the small ornaments at the ends of each character. They are mostly used in print designs, internet content when creating short headlines, but also when using media that includes long content pages. Although their popularity has been recognized for a long time, they successfully rule the realm of fonts.

The various features and history of serif typography give people a sense of elegance, attitude, and confidence. This is usually the right choice for companies that want to be seen as reputable, luxury and serious. Professional businesses, such as legal entities, editorials, and insurance companies, are examples of which serif typography would be an appropriate solution.

Vogue, T-Mobile, Honda, and Sony are just some of the companies that are an example of this type of typography. Serif typography is also conventionally associated with print newspapers, where its use is intended to create a sense of formality and credibility. An example of this is The New York Times dating back to 1850. Some of the most used serif fonts include Georgia, Garamond, Times New Roman, Arno Pro, Baskerville.

Sans-serif typography

This typography created at the end of the 18th century communicates a completely different message. It is known as the modern version of serif and as a set of fonts, it quickly becomes dominant with the mass application.

While serif fonts focus on embracing tradition and history, sans-serifs take the opposite approach and adopt a simple and modern look. The main feature of these fonts is their lack of ornaments and the main use of simple, clean lines with the same width. These lines are also the main reason that many web designers use this style. In this way, they increase readability and visibility for users.

These fonts are considered as clean and modern, so they are an ideal choice for logos and headlines. They give the feeling of being unusual, informal and friendly. For this reason, companies that want their brands to be seen like this tend to use them in developing their brand identities. Facebook, Adidas, and Airbnb are all part of the world in this style. Some of the most popular sans-serif fonts are Helvetica, Open Sans, Proxima Nova, and Arial.

What choice is right for me?

Both styles have a unique personality and communicate very different messages. That’s why it’s important to understand each style and make sure you choose a font that matches the message your brand wants to communicate with.

Typography is important for design and content, it influences the different senses of the audience, making the psychology of fonts something that designers must follow. To choose the right font for your design, you need to focus on the message and the emotions of the brand. Remember, people are emotionally connected to things around them. Therefore, emotional branding should be our top priority.

Of course, practicing the basics of typography can help us step up our game in the design world. While we should be careful when choosing fonts, we should not hesitate to get inspiration from others who are already advancing in this field.

Till the next time, squareONE.