Type Design is a branch of graphic design that contributes to defining brand identity. Doing type Design means basically designing a brand’s typeface to convey its features through a font better. The subject of Type Design covers a wide disciplinary area based on a century-long tradition that underwent innovative transformations in recent years/over the last years.
Technology has strongly influenced these latest developments. From engraved stones in the Greek and Roman period to quill or pen handwriting, up to the eighth century when the Carolingian minuscule appeared during Charlemagne’s kingdom. Like cursive scripts, this calligraphic standard marked a turning point towards modern writing, movable lead typefaces, and text type management through software installed on a device.
We owe our ability to choose the right font when writing an email, drafting an editorial project, or creating the lettering of a logo, to the fact that a specific font exists.
The discipline behind the style, shape, and space occupied by each type is called Type Design.
Who and what is Type Design intended for?
The choice of the right font positively affects the communication of an event, festival, company, or single product. A brand with a customized typeface can strengthen its distinctiveness and create more effective campaigns. And it is precisely for this reason that the ability to study and design "customized" lettering and typefaces is paramount. Type Design contributes to improving a brand or product line's marketing strategy, positioning, and identity-building process. It is not limited to an ordered set of signs belonging to a system that we call the alphabet. Instead, it features a process that goes from the first sketches made on paper combining brain, eyes, and hand – as, before the advent of technology, these human elements were the only tools employed in design – to the typeface implementation, a technique involving design and cultural professionals with multidisciplinary, polytechnic skills. Only after having verified and tested the relationships between the elements of complex scripts we can create different families and styles and produce or, in some cases, distribute a font. The typographic typeface follows specific rules whose primary objective is legibility, thus remaining open to experimentation and creativity.
What is a font and how do we design it?
A font is the physical support used to print and display a typeface. Basically, font is the lead piece (or stamp) used to print in the past or the file that we use today. The word font dates back to the medieval French word meaning "something that was founded," as the letters used for printing were made in molten metal. The font consists of a set of glyphs (symbols) that represent the letters of a specifically designed group of fonts. Only after having verified and tested the relationships between the parties of complex scripts we can create different families and styles and produce or, in some cases, distribute a font. In the past, the fonts had to comply with specific size and quantity rules. Later, due to the greater availability of designs and the higher demands of the printers, the fonts with a particular weight (bold or light) or specific additional features (regular, italics, condensed) led to the definition of "font families," namely series of interconnected designs which include hundreds of styles. The first step to designing a font or a style is a drawing on paper, accurately analyzing the brand or product and their context. We start by sketching, comparing the typefaces and their areas. We begin with a study of font legibility. Then, we test the font on digital and printed media. No attempt is turned down. The process to design a font may last for months according to the relevance of the new font.