When you’re looking at an advertisement poster, an album cover, or flipping through a magazine it’s most likely that you don’t notice (…or care about…) the kind of font that’s being used, or the spacing between the letters.
In Bruno Munari’s “Design as Art,” there’s a whole section dedicated to how typefaces and spacing can affect the pace people read things. One of the examples that Munari discusses is the work of famous German/Swiss painter Paul Klee: “Klee once wrote a poem and filled the spaces between the letters with various colours. The result was that the words revealed themselves to the consciousness in slow motion.” As I’m interested in possibly pursuing a graphic design course in university, I found this very interesting.
I recently read this article on the BBC website about different kinds of fonts people use. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office certainly think font matters, because in 2010 they had the font in their previous logo replaced for £80,000! I agree that typeface does affect how messages are communicated (although I think the Avatar blogger in the article might be overreacting a little….), especially in advertising where could have the potential to make a bigger impact on the viewer. For example, if you’re looking at a sentence that’s been handwritten, and the exact same one that’s been typed out using a different kind of font, I don’t think the effect is quite the same. Having said that the effect of the font itself might not be hugely obvious to the viewer, because they’re probably only looking at the ad for a few seconds. But for this same reason it makes every small detail important as they contribute to the overall tone of the image – and that’s what makes the product memorable.