Wednesday, February 4, 2009

T4: Chosen movement. Paper.

The type styles I'm looking at are mostly Decorative and Display. They can be divided into categories that give a pretty clear idea of what these typefaces look like.
The first category is the Fat Faces. The original purpose of these typefaces is to grab attention in advertisements, which makes them quite useful in large formats. This style has characters that look thick and blocky, hence the name "Fat". Some of these typefaces have rounded edges and some are very geometric and look like they were cut out of blocks.
Fat faces were quite popular in the 80s and have a nostalgic retro feel to them. Fat typefaces are becoming a trend right now and are often used in youth-targeting advertisements, magazines and stores. These typefaces are simple and legible at the same time. This has a great appeal to me and creates a challenge at the same time. How can you make fat display faces both contemporary and elegant? You can find some examples here.
Art Deco typefaces are also becoming trendy. The Art Deco originated in Europe in the early 20th century and then spread to the United States, where it became popular. These typefaces are characterized by elegant stylized shapes that often include geometric forms. A double stroke was also used in some of these faces. Since the Art Deco connotes elegance and glamour, typefaces like Bernard Fashion are often used in high-end advertisements and magazines. I appreciate the elegance of the Art Deco typefaces and their connection to a specific era. You can learn more about these typefaces on this web page.
Grunge Typography is the most recent trend that originated from a musical movement. It combines curves, straight lines and texture. This movement seems to originate from the Bauhaus, but has different attitudes towards the relationship of type and image. Here's a what a grunge type designer Carlos Segura of T-26 says, "Typography is beyond letters. Some fonts are so decorative, they almost become 'visuals' and when put in text form, they tell a story beyond the words — a canvas is created by the personality of the collection of words on the page." (link) The designers who work in this style are Scott Hansen, Jonathan Haggard, Rafael Bessa, Kasper Soeholt, Joseph Wharton and others. Scott Hansen is my favorite. It is important to mention that the style of the 1968 Mexico olympics seems to have a big influence of some of the Grunge designers.
All of these styles have something to offer. I like the boldness of Fat Faces, the elegance of the Art Deco and the type, image and texture combination of Grunge. Most of these styles are contemporary, especially Grunge, and have not gained themselves a reputation. They have the boldness that is appropriate for the 21st century, but also radiate the elegance and nostalgic appeal of the past.

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