It didn’t happen right away, but over the past seven years of doing graphic design work, I’ve come to appreciate how typography has more impact on design than I ever imagined. Think of how many high-end luxury brands rely almost exclusively on the power of their typeface to convey their brand: Tiffany, Gucci, Dior, Coach, Armani, Burbury.
Font choice conveys personality in a similar way that handwriting evokes the specific character of the author. So getting the font right is foundational to the overall tone of a piece.
If budget allows, you’ll find me at Village or Hoefler & Co. drooling over the subtle, elegant lettershapes on offer. When budget doesn’t allow, Google Fonts is a handy, free repository of 700+ fonts that can be used in websites. All of these fonts can be also be used for free in print design as well (downloaded as a zip file and uploaded to your computer). Some designers even prefer using Google Fonts so they can get the same look across both print and web design.
If typography fascinates you and you want to learn more, I recommend reading Simon Garfield’s Just My Type. It retells intriguing stories about the fonts we see everyday and made me never want to use Gill Sans again. If you are interested in the technical aspects of typography in design, you can’t go wrong with anything written by Denise Bosler.
Happy font finding!