Will Work for Good Typography

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  • 4/8/2015
    When eating lunch and discussing design theory—as the thunder::tech Creative Team is known to do—we sometimes fall deep into the rabbit hole of design theory and philosophy. When these conversations revolve around type and typography things get really intense. Everyone is passionate about their favorite font and even more passionate about their least favorite font (which is Papyrus, by the way. Why not Comic Sans? Because everyone knows that Comic Sans is a turd of a font but Papyrus is still used ALL THE TIME). As the discussions become more and more esoteric, it’s easy to understand why clients sometimes ask “does it really make that much of a difference?”

    And even though it makes the designer’s skin crawl, it’s a fair question. Does the use of typography really make that much of a difference?

    I recently came across a blog called The Urban Type Experiment. The blog addresses the “does it matter?” question in a unique way. According to the site, an unnamed Chicago Art Director started approaching homeless people and asking to redesign their cardboard signs. S/he then creates beautifully hand-lettered signs that express the homeless person’s plight and ask passersby for help. The Art Director takes photos and posts weekly updates on the results.
    The blog has only been in operation for a few weeks, so it would be premature to call any of the findings conclusive. However, most of the homeless people report more interaction with pedestrians and increases in the money they receive—as much as 50% more in one case.
    Yes, it is far from a scientific study, but it does suggest that the way you stylize the language can make a big impact on the results—a finding that surprised no one at my lunch table.

    PS:: I can’t help but to share this short video that made the rounds about three years ago. It’s not about typography per se, but the sentiment of it is the same.

    Interested in learning more about typography? Take a jump back and read our Beginner's Guide to Font Talk

    About the author::Craig Israel is the Creative Director at thunder::tech. When he isn’t helping strategize, envision, and execute amazing marketing and advertising solutions, he’s probably being pelted by pillows from his wife and two daughters.
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