sonika's picture

hello everyone,
I am doing a major project in "Emotion in Typography".
How typefaces represent different emotions, how can one say that Comic sans is a fun font, what are the feature which make it "FUN".
I am learning about different types of emotions.I am studying Navras( nine emotions)
i want to know how emotions can be searched in a font ?

Chris Dean's picture

Hi Snika. What have you found on your own so far? You will find you have significantly greater success eliciting assistance with school work if you can demonstrate what you have accomplished first. Good luck, and may the fonts be with you™.

JamesM's picture

Like Chris said, it would be better if you post your thoughts and research first.

If you're not sure where to start, you might research some basic graphic design principals. What shapes look masculine or feminine? Bold or subtle? Formal or casual? Static or active? And so forth.

sonika's picture

i have started my project by studying 9 emotions. After that i will select fonts from different categories like serif, sans-serif, script, display and slab serif and start studying about there anatomy .
how these emotions can be searched in a font. i have found 4 methods for it
Elimination-if i remove some feature from a typeface.is there any effect?
Addition- if i add some feature to a typeface.what kind of feeling it gives?
paring method- if i have two type faces and comparing them.
established font- there are some fonts which already have emotion to it.like i quote the example of comic sans..studying those fonts.
situation-emotions are related to situation.If i change the font on a b'day card from script to slab serif. what effect it will produce.
i have just reached upto this level..
i dont knw how to proceed further..
Can you suggest me some research paper on emotions in typography or some books related to it

charles ellertson's picture

...After that i will select fonts from different categories like serif, sans-serif, script, display and slab serif and start studying about there anatomy .

So, for you, "typography" equals "letterforms"?

I'd be curious if you took the same general notion & tried to investigate the emotional effects of spoken dialect within a group that spoke the same language. Isn't that the same question?

Or, staying with type, how many novels are set in a sans-serif typeface in the States, esp. from a large New York publishing house? How about in Germany? So, if you asked a question about sans-serif fonts in the different countries, wouldn't you expect different answers? Or isn't "comfort" a significant element in any "emotion"?


Chris Dean's picture

If you Google emotions and typography you’ll get several good hits on the first page. The journal Visible Language might be a good place for you to start as it is a bit easier to read that most peer-reviewed scientific journals in that is is also geared towards a design population. If your academic institution has certain database access you may want to read:

Brumberger, E. (2004). The rhetoric of typography: Effects on reading time, reading comprehension and perception of ethos. Technical Communication 51(1), 13–24.

But this might not be for you, unless you are interested investigating things from a scientific or empirical perspective.

Be mindful however, knowing how to conduct a proper literature review is critical to being able to conduct thorough research. You never know who or what might be providing you with misinformation…

JamesM's picture

I'm not sure how "elimination" and "addition" will help you. The "pairing" method you mentioned (comparison of different fonts) might be helpful.

Remember that most people are not typography experts, and any emotions they get from fonts will just be a quick gut reaction based on the general look of the font. (Does the font look formal? Casual? Wild? Precise? Modern? Old fashioned? etc.)

Are you a design student? Have you taken courses in typography or graphic design?

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