What Typography is NOT

The beautiful letters, the ornate letter designs, and the perfect letter spacings that adorn the pages of a magazine, book or other work of art are the things that make typography so attractive and intriguing.

The Art of the Font

Rearranging and setting type, modifying type design and glyphs are the things that make typography what it is. It is selecting and assigning typefaces, font point sizes, the length of lines and adjusting the tracking and kerning that go into making typography distinct and genuine from one piece to the next. It is, however, not just a font or a font image. Typography does not focus on the end result of the design of the piece, but instead focuses on bringing together various elements of a design into one structure.

Egyptienne Penchee

Many people who do not work directly in the industry mistakenly believe that typography is simply the way a piece “looks” and may be more related to graphic designing than the mechanics of actually putting together something that is aesthetically pleasing AND functional.

What it Does and Does Not Do

1. Typography is not artwork.

On the rocks

It doesn’t pertain to artwork, although creative images may exist in the way the graphic designer puts it together. It’s often mistakenly believed to pertain to or use art because of the flair and creativity that can be woven into pieces.

2. Typography does not have one set way of doing things.

Sculpture: OMG LOL by Michael Mandiberg / Eyebeam Art + Technology Center Open Studios: Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55420.P1.L1. / SML

It takes a collective effort of different ways and styles, and puts them together for effect. This can be something like large, broken letters that are sporadically spaced so as to give the piece a disheveled look. All of these things would be typography-related and can be interchanged at will and quite fast.

3. Typography does not use images or art in its design.

My Favourite Letter: Comalle

You will not find actual art used in the technology, although there is a lot of creativity and design that encapsulated in the use of the tool. The ornate look of the tool can be mistaken, but it only uses glyphs like special characters or special symbols that enhance the typography.

4. Typography is not generally used by inexperienced laypersons,

Typography 8: pages 18-19

…as it would be challenging to work with the tool without some prior foundational knowledge of it. It is however used by graphic designers, comic book illustrators and graffiti artists. Not to be confused with just a simple computer program, typography requires special skills and creative application.

5. Typography does not have or use basic typing functions in its pieces.

It is a resource tool and application since the entire premise of typography is to give the piece flair or to make it stand out.

Typography has been around for quite a while, and with the introduction of the Digital Age, it has been elevated to an entirely new level. Industry workers are able to use their creativity, tools and resources to make lively, aesthetically appealing and very professional work that’s in demand from businesses and individuals. Understanding the correct function and application of this powerful resource can help the user maximize their experience and receive the most enjoyment.