What do you love about typography?

moonblob's picture

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to do a quick bit of research finding out what it is that people love about typography.
I'd be very grateful if you could tell me some of the as to why you love type.

Many thanks,


Ehague's picture

The money.

blank's picture

More hot curves than a Mamie Van Doren exploitation flick.


hrant's picture

Do you mean typography or type design? I don't like typography.


Zara Evens's picture

It helps me read and write better.

Nick Shinn's picture

I'm in it for the specimen books.

blank's picture

I’m in it for the specimen books.

Collecting or creating? That little book you did for the modern suite is great!

Nick Shinn's picture

Thanks James.

DrDoc's picture

It really helps you get the girls.

Actually, the most poetically romantic thing I've ever said to my girlfriend was type-related. I told her that while her facial features are each individually beautiful, what really makes her gorgeous is the way they all play together; the way they interplay with the space between — like with type, how the counters and metrics matter more than the shapes of the glyphs themselves.

russellm's picture

the letters


eliason's picture

(Forgive me if this sounds too highfalutin; the language is more romantic than I intend but the thoughts are sincere.)

Type design is
a tool for discovering entirely new possibilities
a tool for discovering the wisdom of the ways things have been done before.

Type design is
an exercise in letting your impulses take shape
an exercise in growing to understand the needs of others whom your creations will serve.

Type design is
a reminder that consistency requires steady effort and discipline
a reminder that unbending application of systematic thought leads to failure.

In these ways, figuring out how to design type strikes me as a microcosm of how to approach life.

John Hudson's picture

The fiddly bits.

will powers's picture

It has kept me clothed and housed, and in in beer money, for a long time.


AzizMostafa's picture

Making Love with the 17 Sweet Arabic Dancers?!
With Flowers of course.

TypographyShop's picture

Typography to me first meant the slugs and random letters I collected from the floor of the newspaper my father worked at. Learning your faces backwards in lead at the same time you're learning to read gives you a perspective on it that art school never could.

Norbert Florendo's picture

Typography is tittle-lating :o)

Miss Tiffany's picture

The black and the white. The macro and the micro.

Matthew Lujan's picture

When done well, it's like a massage on my eyeballs.

oprion's picture

A meditative permutation of ancient symbols in an infinite search for harmony, and a possibility to say that and still get paid rather then locked up with other weirdos.
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov

dan_reynolds's picture

I love all of the other people who do it. What a crowd!

dezcom's picture


paul d hunt's picture


is it really possilbe to like typeface design but not typography? can/should the two really be separated? what use is a typeface without a context?

Andy Martin's picture


Miss Tiffany's picture

@paul completely agree.

paragraph's picture

The depth of it. No matter how hard you try you cannot quite reach the bottom.

nina's picture

To me, type design is the pinnacle of what I love about graphic design: pure form.
The black and the white, the detail and the whole. I also think it's excruciatingly difficult, but every step of it teaches me to see. And I feel like I was blind before.

But of course, type isn't just that. It's the bridge between form and text/content, and I love it for that.

natalie_F's picture

for me it stems from a love of reading and words themselves - a great word with the right typeface is a lovely thing.

grntwlkr's picture

I love how it calls out to me "be full of care and thought."

I also love the lowercase g.

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture


for me, my love of typography comes from the ability to artisticly express myself through typography and calligraphy. when i practice calligraphy, i can give for to thoughts ,straight away. it's a kind of drawing art for me, abstract in a way, more relates to pure form and meaning.

i also think it's a great way to contribute to the hebrew culture's development (when designing in hebrew offcourse).
letters for me have symbolic power, somehow a good form just lures you to "enter" in it and explore. letters have history. ancient letters call you to salvage them and be inspired by them.
a word can be worth about a thousand pictures (sometimes).

there was a female israeli poet named Yona Wallach,
which wrote a poem about words, which i will write here in hebrew and english (adapted to english by the poet). i think this sums up my relationship with letters:

Let the Words/ Yona Wallach

Let the words act in you

let them be free

they will enter you inside

making forms upon forms

will form in you that experience

let the words act in you

they will do in you as they please

remaking new forms in the thing

they will make in your thing

exactly the same thing

for they are the thing they make

you will understand that they revive

for you that experience and its meaning like nature

because they are nature and not an invention

and not a discovery for they are yes nature

they will make the thing nature in you

like giving sex is life to the word

let the words act in you

תֵּן לַמִּלִּים/ יונה וולך

תֵּן לַמִּלִּים לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּךָ
תֵּן לָהֶם הֱיֵה חֹפְשִי
אֵלּוּ תִּכָּנַסְנָה בְּךָ תָּבֹאנָה פְּנִימָה
עוֹשֵׂי צוּרוֹת עַל צוּרוֹת
יְחוֹלְלוּ בְּךֳ אוֹתָה חֳוָיָה
תֵּן לַמִּלִים לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּךֳ
אֵלוּ תַּעֲשֶׂינָה בְּךֳ כִּרְצוֹנָן
עוֹשֶׂה צוּרוֹת מֵחָדָשׁ בַּדָּבָר
תַעֲשֶינָה בַּדָּבָר שֶלְךָ
אוֹתוֹ הַדָבָר בְּדִיוּק
כִּי הֵן דָּבָר אוֹתוֹ תַעֲשֶינָה
הָבֵן תָבִין כִּי אֵלוּ תְּחַיֶינָה
לְךָ אוֹתָה חֳוָיָה וּפֵרוּשָׁהּ כְּטֶבַע
כִּי הֵן טֶבַע וְלֹא הַמְצָאָה
וְלֹא גִלוּי כִּי כֵּן טֶבַע
תַעֲשֶינָה טֵבַע דָּבָר בְּךָ
כְּמוֹ שֶתֵּן מִין חַיִים לַמִּלָה
תֵּן לַמִּלִים לַעֲשוֹת בְּךָ

Mark Simonson's picture

The endless variety within narrow constraints.

William Berkson's picture

The mystery and magic of letters. The strange, compelling marriage of visual beauty and meaningful language. Abstract shapes becoming meaningful, expressing every shade of joy and regret, expressing everything from the theory of relativity to "I love you"--with style. The way the wrong letter design refuses to sit happily next to others in an alphabet, and the magic of when they they are right; when they sing beautifully together, in the unique harmony of a coherent design, pouring out on the page in a kaleidoscope of words and dancing shapes.

nina's picture

Chris, thanks for making me feel like I'm not on the road to total wackiness where nobody else is.  :-)

dezcom's picture

I am already there way ahead of you in Wackyland :-)


PR's picture

I enjoy looking, researching and drawing the shapes of blackletters. Their letter shapes are so sophisticated yet beautiful. I prefer using old books as inspiration and redrawing by hand instead of using a computer.


dberlow's picture

"...what it is that people love about typography"

I'm just here for the Q's. If all Q's were the same, or if Q had not tail, I'd have said O, and quit a while ago.

Dez, that is fabulous! Now, if can you do everything Fred could do, but backwards with hight heels on, I'll call you Ginger. ;)


hrant's picture

Paul, the two are very different, aren't they? One clue is most people are either good at one or the other, rarely both. Certainly a font is made to be used, but I for one simply don't enjoy using fonts, just making them; and the reason I like making fonts -the designing of little viral machines that can never be fully manifested- does not have a parallel in typography, which deals with surface, not depth (and I'm not talking about 2D vs 3D). I enjoy other things too though, like cooking, and driving fast; just not typography.


Nachos's picture

What I love about typography is the possibilities it offers to those who design and seek to communicate more effectively in world filled with bland redundancy. It also sure has given us plenty to talk about amongst ourselves as well.

Nachos's picture

@ Nachos.

It also sure has given us plenty to talk about amongst ourselves as well

That sentence seems bland and redundant to me.

dezcom's picture

David, I sure couldn't do what Fred could do even forwards. Since I would be kind of awkward, stiff, and crumbly as a dancer, you might just have to call me Gingerbread Man instead :-)


paragraph's picture

It's a honourable way to remain poor.

dezcom's picture

But to the font pirates, it is a poor way to remain honorable.


paragraph's picture

Ideed, Chris.

nina's picture

"It’s a honourable way to remain poor."
I guess that is true for typography as well as type design. At least I find
I'm spending the vast majority of my meagre profits on font licenses.  :-)
(Addiction, anyone?)

hrant's picture

So what's a dishonorable way to remain poor?


nina's picture

Not doing anything?
Assuming that "not doing anything" is not based on some mind-blowing philosophical concept. :-)

Typedog's picture

The curves like my Hot Colombian wife and boy is she curvy!


Typedog's picture

So what’s a dishonorable way to remain poor?

Become a Artist and graduate from the Art Center ($$$$$) only to work as waiter at Denny's.


merkri's picture

Abstract symbols taking on different meanings and connotations through variations in their physical form. Their form nonverbally affecting the meaning of something that intrinsically conveys verbal information. I guess, at some level, it's the fact that symbols convey meaning verbally and nonverbally at the same time--the duality of meaning conveyed by glyphs--often conscious verbal meaning and often unconscious nonverbal meaning, simultaneously. The fact that it is all so utilitarian and practical at the same time belies the beauty of it all.

type.nasos's picture

The addiction type has on my daily life*
The fact we see history at different perpsective
Helping people read-communicate-understand better,
without most ppl care about us.
Experiment with inks and calligraphy.
Enjoy the moment, when im gonna say "omg i dont want
to eat from that restaraunt, their menu
is made with comic sans ;p

satya's picture

Josef Müller-Brockmann.

scottsullivan's picture

Mark said it really well The endless variety within narrow constraints.. that and all the chicks.

- Scott Sullivan

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