This is something that my boss said to me at work the other day which has inspired this blog post. As designers we often work with other people who are not designers and I know that I often forget that they are often unfamiliar with the terminology and the concepts that come second hand to us as designers and often don't know the difference between good and bad typography and why its important.
So I found an article on communication arts website that was entitled How to Explain Why Typography Matters and was written by Thomas Phinney. What I found really interesting was how he talked about typography not as a design tool but as a language that could say good or bad things and often there were just subtle differences between the two.
Typography has become increasingly mainstream especially though out the past ten years. However many people still don't understand it or why someone would even waste their time creating typography and typographical systems.
I think James Puckett put it best when he discussed the issue on Typophile.com: “I always tell people that the difference between good typography and [bad typography] is the difference between work that looks professional and work that looks like someone threw it together in MS Word. One reason Apple’s stores look so good is the careful and consistent application of [the typeface] Myriad. But kmart’s careless mashup of Helvetica, Gill Sans, News Gothic and Gotham looks like, well, kmart.”
This is a great comparison, people often can't identify when they are looking at good and bad typography but they often notice it without realizing it through brand loyalty and just generally thinking something looks nice.
The article also had a very interesting comparison for typography the author said "Typography is like fashion, or furniture. With rare functional exceptions, the world doesn't “need” new clothing or furniture designs, but people want to look different or evoke a particular feeling or fit with a particular “look,” and there are trends and styles."
Nothing is quote on quote new in typography anymore and people are simple using pre-existing things in new and interesting ways. And these new ways of doing things are often trends in typography some of the trends going on right now are....
Wood cut type