"Moody" type?

zalmoxe's picture

Are there any typefaces that you would consider extremely succesful at communicating a certain mood through their mere design but at the same time are not too literal (i.e. no tear drop shapes for sadness)? In particular the feelings on the bleaker end of the spectrum; sadness, melancholia, depression.

I am attempting to design such a font and the task is proving more difficult than I initially assumed, and figured I could use some inspiration.

Thank you.

matteson's picture

Erm, this may well be crazy, but I've always thought Bulmer fit that bill. Happily, I have no assertions to back this view up.

Mark Simonson's picture

Arial always fills me with despair.

I have a feeling your task may prove difficult. Expressing complex emotions like that depends a lot on context and personal experiences and memories.

hrant's picture

I agree with Mark. I think the most you might be able to pull off is a vague and faint sense of "sadness", and only among some people - plus you'll certainly get other associations too (like elegance) in fact maybe more strongly.* The general traits I would look for are: narrow, small x-height, light, high waist, somewhat weathered finish, and old-fashioned terminals (like balls, but small ones). Maybe something that has an old French colonial air about it - a bit like this:

http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/30/20897.html _
But taller caps, and daintier serifs.

* It seems like maybe traits that have strong tangible representations have a better hope than emotions (which are rarely associated with any physical form).

hhp

david h's picture

The "easy" way: grunge.

paul d hunt's picture

the cliche way: sloppy handwriting fonts

more personal associations: i think smashing pumpkins seriously damaged my view of victorian era faces. i associate the emotions of their music with the art they used on their albums, including victorian faces: Glorietta (Victorian Swash), Art Gothic, &c. so to me Victorian Swash = Melencholy (Mellon Collie, heh!)

Jan Sandvik's picture

Mark, that's very sad in so many different ways... :)

I have an old book that is set in Latinskaya and I think it looks sad in a way. But then again - that might be just me.

A Couple typefaces based on Latinskaya:
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/paratype/literaturnaya/
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/paratype/quant-antiqua/

hrant's picture

That is indeed quite sad. That "g" is pure glum.
I can think of some subtle mods that should make it
even more sad, like splaying the "M" less, raising
the bar of the "A", etc.

hhp

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