factors that influence the choice of a typeface

pmbfpereira's picture

Hello everybody!
My apologies, in advance, for my lousy english.

I'm doing a school project on the factors that influence the choice of a typeface. Robert Bringhurst, in his book The Elements of Typographic Style, refers to:
Technical considerations, Consider the medium for which the typeface was originally designed;
Practical typography, Choose faces that suit the task as well as the subject;
Historical considerations, Choose a face whose historical echoes and associations are in harmony with the text;
Cultural & Personal considerations; Choose faces whose individual spirit and character is in keeping with the text.

Michael Bierut, in his famous essay 'thirteen ways of looking at a typeface', considers more subjective reasons like 'because it's beautiful', 'because it's ugly', 'because it's boring', etc.

Some designers, truly have a fascination with only one typeface and throughout their work they only use a very small selection of typefaces.

I could enumerate many more reasons or examples but I don't want to limit or condition your answers. What do you considerer when choosing a typeface?

riccard0's picture

Features needed.

hrant's picture

I made it. :-)

Actually ignore me, since I don't really use fonts.
In fact most pushers are not heavy users. :-)


Nick Shinn's picture

I was a heavy user before becoming a manufacturer, and I would imagine that most type designers have some experience as working typographers.

Certainly, many of the factors above influenced me, to which I would add licensing considerations (under “practical”).

Often typographers use types which are trendy, betting on a proven thing, as it were, and it’s easy to see what’s popular by going to the best seller lists at online resellers such as FontSpring and MyFonts.

But ultimately, you’ve got to go with your gut.
As Jane Hope put it:

“I’m not a big believer in rationalizing. The way something comes to life through design, every designer has a personal attitude. Rationalization is only as strong as the design’s credibility.”

5star's picture

This thread reminds of that thread...


Frode Bo Helland's picture

If I like the type designer.

J. Tillman's picture

The opinions of the end users (the target audience) must be considered. What are they used to? What will they like? What will they hate? Bringhurst is implying this in the first post, but I wanted to say it straight out.

dezcom's picture

Because it does that particular job well

Té Rowan's picture

Because it exists.
Because I want to. Because I want to.
What other face?
Why not?

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