Sunday, 9 January 2011

Contextual Studies: Looking at Type (Part 2)

Previously I looked at type and how it has developed over the last century from printing in books and magazines to custom typography for film posters. More and More typography changes from a basic tool to translate information into a piece of graphic design that can envoke a range of feelings in a veiwer such as the font used for the Fritz Lang film, Metropolis. Take note of it's sharp points and stylistic aesthetic, other examples of films using type are the james bond series that have the signature "007" motif thats designed to look like a hand gun, or the omen where a shadow is cast from the O resulting in a crucifix, the point being that these examples of type not only present the title of the film but the feeling and tone aswell, as type evolves it gets more powerful.

As type becomes a more design aspect rather than informative we see more experimentation with it and how it can be incorporated into images. In an age where computers are much more common place the ability to play with the very structure of type is limitless. New typographies and fonts can be created on a whim, influences can be drawn from anything ranging from surroundings to pop culture, some Fonts are even modified from a culture to express the feeling of that culture in another language.

Of course we're also in the age of film where type can be animated, this can further establish an emotion from it and often the way it's animated can give it a sense of a personality such as the famous sketch of "who's on first?". There are many ways in which type can be used in film and in an opening title sequence with the right music a carefully developed font can have a last impact on your audience.

That said moving type is still reliant on the conventional rules to make sense of what is being conveyed, such as certain fonts can only give of a certain feel and if in moving type you have a mood that you want to set thats dark and eery you're best bet is to probably not choose ariel. Starting off as a meer tool for reading and informing type has changed into something more manipluative and can now envoke emotions into people, is this evolution from tool to asset that makes typography so powerful in the world of design.

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