Font of All Knowledge

Published by Lex on

There is a lot of everything. But I am truly amazed by all the fonts that are available.

And fonts serve kind of a funny purpose in design.

Design is intended to create some sort of lasting visual appeal along with communicating something. It could be information or maybe just a feeling.

However, the English alphabet contains several characters that are easy to confuse for each other depending on the font design. I L 1 and O 0 can all be close enough that you have to look really closely or look for other context clues to know which is which.

It is not usually a cognitive burden, but the confusion can lead to some cascading errors that lead to problems downstream.

I love good design that makes information clearer and easier to use. But sometimes design does just the opposite. Things may be attractive but hard to follow (not great) or unappealing and hard to follow (worst case).

Distinct design is important for conveying information and other valuable signals. The risk of distinct design is that important information is that the design becomes more important than the information that it is trying to convey.

The font may look great in the design, but if people mistake an L for an I, there may be an information defect opportunity.

The design needs to work in harmony with the content in order for information to be communicated most effectively. This usually requires a different set of skills to put the whole the package together.