“Good design goes to heaven; bad design goes everywhere.”
I take typography for granted. Being surrounded by Snell Roundhand Live, Laugh, Love signs and Papyrus homeopathic logos makes me think that my own typography choices are the best thing since Helvetica and that I don’t have to question my type choices for them to be considered acceptable.
Before I went to school for graphic design, I loved drawing and painting. Comparatively, graphic design was a whole different animal. It was rigid and technical, and typography was my least favorite subject. It took me years of shoehorning typography into layouts and jamming square pegs into round holes in order to figure out that one type of fine art isn’t that different from the other, and that typography and illustration had more in common than I originally thought. I’ve worked hard to improve my perspective to see typography organically and appreciate it and everything it’s unique personalities and flavors can add to my designs.
That being said, I don’t want to waste all of my hard work by getting lazy. Your typography choices can make or break a design. Not putting brainpower into choosing an appropriate typeface, considering color theory, or experimenting with size and position in a layout can make you miss out of some really great opportunities to elevate your designs in fresh, bold ways.
Comedian-writer, Julio Torres, wrote an SNL skit based off of one of his tweets: “Every day I wake up and remember that Avatar, a huge International blockbuster, used Papyrus font for their logo and nobody stopped them”. Ryan Gosling acts in the skit as a man tortured by the knowledge of this graphic designer’s lazy choice of font. We’ve all been there, Ryan.
Despite the overdramatic, comic nature of the skit, Torres is dead right. Lazy design choices make for lazy designs, and the brands and designers that you respect will see right through you.
Make time to be intentional with your typography choices and let every day you work be a day to learn how to make better, more vibrant and meaningful designs.