One of the most compelling things I have learned as a public relations major is the subconscious effects that design elements can have on the audience one is attempting to reach. I had no idea the depth of thought which goes into choosing which fonts to use, how to design a layout, or even when choosing color schemes.
Design directly influences the way that an audience absorbs the information put in front of them. Typography, defined by Business Dictionary as the “study of the design of typefaces, and the way in which the type is laid out on a page to best achieve the desired visual effect and to best convey the meaning of the reading matter,” is a large aspect of design. Those creating publications must decide which fonts to use, the spacing between letters, and font size, and many other things, all focused on finding the best way to display content.
In Public Relations Publications, students were given the opportunity to play a couple of online typography games to practice various typography skills. The first game I decided to play was ‘Type Connection‘, a game that turns the fonts into eligible bachelors.
With this game, I ended up creating a successful ‘date’ between Adobe Garamond Pro, a strong and serious font, and Maple, a font which tends to bring warmth and comfort to the table. Together, the two make a great combination to show off information in an inviting way, such as on an upscale restaurant menu.
This game helped me realize the depth of analysis that goes into typography, as the matches went down to the minute details of things like the transition from line into foot serifs.
The next game I decided to play was ‘Kern Type‘, the kerning game which teaches players how to properly space letters for legibility.
After adjusting the spacing of letters, I was to compare my work with that of a professional typographer. Needless to say, I didn’t do too well my first couple of tries, a testament to the difficulty of spacing. I was surprised at just how specific the letter spacing needs to be. Often times, I knew that the word didn’t look right, but lacked the skills to adjust accurately. When playing this game, I played alongside a friend of mine who is a design major, and was horridly outpaced.
The last game I decided to play was ‘Type War‘, a relatively simple game, compared to the others, which challenges players to visually determine what font is shown on the screen.
Type War was the hardest game for me, but it gave me a great opportunity to become more familiar with the various fonts. I began to notice some patterns in the fonts, such as some fonts having serifs, and others not, a helpful distinction.
Overall, playing these various typing games gave me a chance to become familiar with a couple key aspects of typography.