Font Geekery

This week I’ve spent at lot of time in front of a screen fiddling about with fonts.  

Let’s be honest here, it makes me ridiculously happy!  I’ve long had a fascination with lettering;  how two shapes that look so very different can still be easily read as the same word; how those two versions of the same word will communicate something subtly different.  It never ceases to amaze me how typography can change the whole mood of something - even minute details will set one font apart from the rest as having just the right feel.

Photo credits: Bethany Stanley

Once I’ve pinned down look and feel I’m aiming for and done a lot of the initial drawing work, the serious graft of putting my new designs together usually starts with typography. The words of a stationery suite are a little like its bone structure so I like to spend time making sure I get this part just right. The more elaborate fonts used for names get particularly rigorous attention; occasionally typefaces will have one letter form which which just doesn’t work very well in context. I absolutely don’t want to be finding it when preparing a couple’s proofs! As well as looking the part, each font needs to be legible and printable - fonts such as Didot, with its contrast of heavy and very fine strokes are particularly challenging to print. In small sizes these fonts can tend to loose their elegant fine strokes entirely when screenprinted, looking more like they’ve been stencilled!

My current project is inspired by my trip to Copenhagen in the Summer. I was really taken with Denmark’s fairytale heritage, its abundance of castles, spires and romantic gardens.  The cue for the typography is the city’s verdigris skyline. I’ve been foraging for typefaces which can communicate its slightly whimsical, historical elegance. Scripts, but nothing too formal and stuffy - something freer, with a more dreamy quality. The overall look could end up going too far down the yellow-brick-road to complete fairytale whimsy, so alongside the script’s fanciful, sinuous lines I'm searching for the perfect clean and simple sans serif font as a foil...