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The Observation of Type

Type has always been a carrier of information, and the possibilities are endless, it triggers reactions and often imbeds its personality on a subconscious level. The formal aspects of text including size, weight, form and structure are something so omnipresent, that most people never pay attention to it. Most individuals don’t consider letters to be designed; yet, they need to be formalized to make them functional and impressionable.

A typeface is a voice; it is the designers responsibility to convey the information without superficial gimmicks that detract from a texts purpose. Type comes from the imagination, yet it is guided by rules and readability. The arrangement of design and type elements within a given structure should not only be compelling, but it should allow the reader to easily focus on the message without slowing down the speed of reading.

All design begins with asking; What is the purpose of the product? Until this question is thoroughly and honestly answered one cannot even begin with any sort of design. The reason for this is to create a design that is neutral and restrained, to allow room for the user’s self-expression.

Building type in seclusion has its challenges. This can lead to work driven by the ego if a system of feedback and criticism and has not been established. There are incredible communities of support that are willing to share their thoughts and insight on type that is in development. Including AIGA, World Design Organization, Society of Typographic Aficionados, Society of Publication Design and countless others. Getting initial reactions from co-workers and friends can help you tremendously. A differing perspective can lead to innovation within your type work. It is imperative to get feedback from the design community but also individuals that are unbiased and unfamiliar with type design.

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