This BBC News article about typefaces caught my eye, not only because I have a passion for typography, but also because it?s a subject which is rarely brought to the general public?s attention.
As a discipline, typography involves more than simply choosing a font for a particular purpose; amongst other things it also requires an appreciation for the subtleties of the art of typeface design, a knowledge of the history of alphabets and letterforms, and perhaps most importantly a functional understanding of legibility and readability.
But these things don?t consciously concern most people. Type is there to do a job, and when done well, it should be ?invisible?. Counter-intuitively, it?s for this very reason that typefaces really do matter.
It?s true that there are snobs who needlessly complain about the proliferation of fonts like ?Comic Sans? and ?Papyrus?, blaming it on the wide availability of standard fonts within DTP software on affordable desktop PCs; but frivolous elitism should not be allowed to cloud the issue.
For example, using the wrong typeface for a corporate document is almost as disastrous as using the wrong company logo. Typefaces should be specified as part of any good brand identity guidelines because, as well as facilitating the readability of text, they contribute to the style, tone and personality of your communications.
Underestimate the power of typefaces at your peril!