Type as a Graphic Image: A Sometimes Ignored Art Tool

It is amazing that one of the least known, ignored, or easily under rated graphic design tools is, believe it or not, the font. That’s right, the font.


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Type or typography is becoming a genuine art form within the graphics design world. Still, this incredible resource which lies on every computer geek’s fingertips is not always recognized. Even as graphic artists work night and day with type, it is very easy for them to forget the artistry that lies within the font. The challenge when creating graphic design with typography is to design the entire project with fonts. This includes:

  • Titles
  • Information
  • Pictures and/or
  • Images

In Visual Arts, Less is More


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Fortunately for the artist, using typography in graphic design is no different than creating any other piece of artwork.

For example, all fine art needs to reflect:

  • Negative and positive space
  • Light and dark

In the world of fine arts, this “white space” is just as important as in typography. In typesetting, one thinks about blank space; in using typography as graphic design, one considers what is called white space. If every inch of a canvas is completely covered with busyness, then the painting will be dull and uninteresting. A painting must have:

  • Opposition
  • Space and form

Designing with typography uses the same principals. Only then, it is on its way to becoming a work of art. So, when you begin to experiment with this kind of graphic design, remember your “white space” is as important as the filled space. This is known as letting a work of art breathe.

Stop Thinking..

Some of the best designs which use typography as well as any fine art have come from limited resources and time. Too much thinking or pondering can sometimes drive the creativity resulting a safe, boring outcome. This does not mean that you don’t need skills and a brain; it simply means art comes together when one lets the creative juices flow and most importantly, combines it with skill. A project will then flow easier and solutions come quicker.

The Experiment: Typography Only, Please


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So, for your next graphic design project, take this challenge: limit yourself to only typography. This means every image, as well as headings and information in regular type, will be formed from fonts. Use this experiment to become reacquainted with the beauty of fonts and words. Typography has a class all its own and it can be very rewarding to find out what great products you can create with your own ingenuity using the grace and smartness of type and the different font styles

What can make typography, in graphic design, challenging is to really view it as its own art form. It’s time to find out what kind of magic one can create with the combination of computer skills, art sense and amazing fonts.

Jennifer Moline writes about freelancing, small business and design for the PsPrint Blog. Follow online printer PsPrint on Twitter and Facebook. Image sources: 1, 2, 3

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Jennifer writes about graphic design, small business and technology, for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog.

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