Expressive Typography

Topics: Typography, Graphic design, Typeface Pages: 7 (2258 words) Published: November 21, 2010
Expressive Typography :

1.1 What is Expressive Typography:

In the 1960s there was a surge of Expressive Typography; in which the type is physically positioned or modified so as to literally illustrate the primary statement. Many designers employed Expressive Typography. Most notable was the work done by Herb Lubalin and Otto Storch in Mc Call’s Magazine. Some letter or a word would be reshaped to become an illustration of its own content. Sometimes an illustration was incorporated into the letters. And sometimes a simple line of type and an illustration were so positioned as to come alive. Commenting on Expressive Typography and other trends of the time, Allen Hurlburt suggests that striving for expressiveness and “something different” frequently initiates a new chain of limitations and clichés. The 70s and the 80s saw a trend away from bouncy Expressive Typography toward a quieter more direct and more orderly typography. But nothing is forever today we are producing a broad spectrum of typographic designs and it is the “New Wave Typography”

1.2 Objective and subjective representation

There are many methods of designing with type but broadly we can classify into two groups objective and subjective representation. Objective representation is practical and straight forward. It is characterized by a clear, ordered presentation of information that is shared in a direct efficient manner. Here the importance is given to a clear message. It plays no emotional impact on the viewer. Example maps, charts diagrams, timetables books etc. Subjective representation is conceptual interpretative. It is used on a theme or an idea that creates an experience for the viewer. It allows a greater scope for complexity, it plays with a multiple levels of interpretation for the implied meaning of the design. It has an impact on the emotions of the viewer. Expressive typography generates activity in most applications and a visual tension is created which helps in effective visual communication.

1.3 Typography and human emotions

Letterforms are the most fundamental of the modern communication because they make the spoken language visible and thus serve the purpose of conveying verbal message. They also carry emotional and aesthetic information that has an impact on how the verbal message is read; and they play a part in the design itself.

Type is often treated as a completely utilitarian element in graphic design, used only to communicate verbal information in compositions. Whose strength lies everywhere. Yet letterform, even typographic forms, can never be neutral elements in a design. While carrying verbal information, they also invariably convey emotional and associative information as well. We all possess a subtle vocabulary of style that compels us to read a composition involving letterforms on many levels. The emotional impact of letterforms is communicated before their literal content, and therefore the designer must establish from the outset of a particular project the precise feelings and associations that he or she wishes his deign to communicate. The job of the designer is to find the correct visual language which will communicate in a perfect way. There exists a complex grammar that allows us to receive and understand the non-verbal significance of a whole range of lettering styles. Typography never occurs in isolation. Good typography demands not only knowledge of type itself, but an understanding of the relationship between letterforms and the other things that humans make and do. Typography unifies the design through its complementing and contrasting positioning with all other visual elements. A decisive well planned system encourages readability and understanding, type is the leading factor that controls the activity of a page and enables sequential flow. Nurturing order and structural harmony typography aesthetically combines text with meaning. It is framework for the exchange of ideas from one person to another....
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