Create your own sample book of typefaces on your computer that you can refer to.
Typeface Sample Book
My typeface sample book can be seen the in the PDF link below:
I have a lot of typefaces stored on my PC – some are propriety typefaces that shipped with Microsoft and Adobe software and others are typefaces I have installed from sources such as Google Fonts.
I decided to limit my sample book to typefaces that I have used recently in website designs that I have been worked on as part of my day job, and the typefaces that I chose to use as part of this exercise.
I typically use Google Fonts in my websites as these typefaces are good quality, free to use and can be embedded into the website code.
Now identify which fonts you might use in each of the following commissions. Then have a go at mocking up each of these. Try different fonts to see how each changes
the feel of the text and make notes in your learning log about which works best and why:
• A short story in a woman’s magazine entitled “I thought I loved him; now I’m not so sure”.
Main Heading: Perpetua Regular 48pt
Highlights: Perpetua Italic 21pt
Body Text: Perpetua Regular 12pt
In this version I used a single serif typeface – Perpetua with the main heading and body text in Regular and the highlights in Italics. The 12pt serif font looks quite small when printed but is still legible, which will be useful for a quite a long story in a magazine.
Main Heading: Pristina Regular 48pt
Highlights: Josefin Sans Light 18pt
Body Text: Josefin Sans Light 12pt
In this version I used a Script typeface for the Main Heading and a sans-serif font for the Hightlights and Body Text. I think the Pristina script typeface works well for the ‘spoken words’ of the heading. The style of the font is also quite feminine, which suits the female voice. The Josefin Sans is delicate and modern, which would also work well in a woman’s magazine.
Main Heading: Candara Regular 48pt
Highlights: Candara Italic 18pt
Body Text: Lato Light 12pt
In this version, I wanted to use a sans serif font throughout. I used Candara Regular for the heading and Candara Italic for the highlight. However, Candara Regular looked too heavy for the small body text font and there was not a Light version of Candara available, so instead I used Lato Light for the body text. I had chosen the Candara typeface for the heading because it has a slightly informal feel of handwriting which I thought worked well for the ‘voice’ of the title. However, in retrospect, I think the Candara typeface has almost has a child-like quality – it reminds me of the very careful writing you might get in a child’s early-reading book, and I feel it might trivialise what might be a serious story.
• An advertisement in a parish magazine asking for more helpers on the flower
Main Heading (Question): Hind Medium 18pt
Body Text: Hind Light 12pt
Email Address: Hind Bold 12pt
This advert is quite small, so I have used a simple, ‘clean’ sans serif typeface throughout. Bold font makes the key text stand out.
Main Heading (Question): Cinzel Regular 18pt
Body Text: Lato Light 12pt
Email Address: Lato Light 12pt
Here, I have used a modern, decorative, quite feminine serif, all caps font for the question, with the intention of catching the reader’s eye. The rest of the text is in a lightweight sans serif font for a feminine and modern feel.
Main Heading (Question): Cambria Bold 18pt
Body Text: Cambria Regular 12pt
Email Address: Cambria Bold 12pt
Here I have used a more ‘classic’ serif font throughout for a decorative and slightly more traditional feel. The larger font and bold typeface of the question is intended to make the key question stand out.
• A poster to advertise an after-school club for boys aged 13 – 14.
Main Heading (Questions) & Bottom Line: Black Ops One Regular 110 & 48pt
Body Text: Archivo Black Regular 36pt
Here, the key text is in a heavy weight, masculine, military style stencil font. The rest of the text is in a smaller more readable heavy weight sans serif font.
Main Heading (Questions) & Bottom Line: Permenant Marker Regular 125, 60 & 48pt
Body Text: Hind Bold 36pt
Here, the key text is in a heavy weight, handwriting style, marker font, intended to look a little like graffiti and quite informal. Again, thehe rest of the text is in a smaller more readable heavy weight sans serif font.
Main Heading (Questions) & Bottom Line: Special Elite Regular 125, 60pt
Body Text: Special Elite Regular 36pt
Here the text is in a masculine, machine-style font.
• Your friends’ engagement party.
Agency FB Bold and Regular in different sizes.
Because the flier is quite small with quite a lot of writing, I have used a single typeface in different weights and sizes to avoid the flier looking cluttered.
Iceland Regular in different sizes.
My flier has an outer-space feel and I think this machine-like font works particularly well for this look. It reminds me of ‘Star Trek’!!
Cherry Swash Bold and Regular in different sizes.
In this version, I tried with a more decorative font. I think this works because the slab serifs give the font a ‘machine’ feel which fits well with the outer-space theme of the flier but the decorative curls are quite fun.
Thoughts on this exercise
At first, I was quite dismayed when I saw that I had to create my own typeface sample book – I have a lot of typefaces already installed on my PC and I though it wasn’t going to be a very useful exercise to copy them into book. However, having done it, I think there are a number of benefits in doing this:
- The sheer number of typefaces that exist can make choosing them overwhelming. Collating my favourites into a sample book keeps them together in a way that I can easily reference them. For me it was also useful to add notes about where I had used them with or what other typefaces I had paired them with.
- It is difficult to see in Photoshop, for example, what the typeface actually looks like, until you type something. The sample book presents extracts of sample text so I can instantly see what written text will look like in different cases and font sizes.
- The sample book also makes it more obvious which font styles are available (Regular, italic etc.). More than once I chose a typeface and only afterwards realised there was no italic or bold version.
for the mock ups, I also made some interesting discoveries:
- When using different typefaces, matching font weight was as important as matching styles. A light weight title typically needed a light weight body font in order to look balanced.
- It is difficult to gauge what a document will look like, and whether the font is the right choice, and is legible, until it the document printed at its actual size. I found the A3 poster quite difficult in this respect as it is difficult to get a sense for how the poster will look when working on a relatively small PC screen.
- I was really conflicted when doing these mock ups, between wanting to create something a little more unique and original and wanting to use more obvious ‘visual messages’ that the viewer will understand. I felt I ended up using cliched images for these documents (teenager with a hoodie for the club poster, silhouette of dancing crowd for the party flier). I am torn between wanting to produce something that the viewer will instantly ‘get’ and something a bit more original.