Sometimes a simple, straightforward sans or serif typeface just isn’t enough to get your message across. When this is the case, consider using one of the many decorated fonts available. These unique typeface personalities can be the perfect tools for creating a carefully calibrated mood or reaching a specific audience.
Decorated fonts come in an impressive diversity of styles. Some are traditional letterforms with decorated interiors or exteriors; often they have floral or animal themes, or evoke a specific period in history. Others embody a specific “look,” from woodcut to graffiti to digital high-tech. The overall range to choose from is enormous.
The key to selecting the right decorated font is matching the design’s personality to your project. Consider the style and mood of your piece and who your audience is. Be realistic about the legibility and readability requirements of your project and whether the font you choose can meet them adequately.
Try decorated fonts for:
- illustrative headlines in editorial spreads or brochures
- book covers
- CD packaging
- invitations and announcements
- flyers and posters
- children’s books
- on-screen titles for film, video and multimedia projects
- The Bauhaus philosophy of “less is more” is a suitable guideline when designing with decorated typefaces – use them simply and sparingly to maximize their impact and create the most aesthetically pleasing result.
- Editor’s Note: Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio, is a typographic consultant, designer and writer specializing in all aspects of typographic communication. She conducts Gourmet Typography workshops internationally. Read more about typography in her latest literary effort, Type Rules! The designer's guide to professional typography, 3rd edition, published by Wiley & Sons, Inc. This article was commissioned and approved by Monotype Imaging Inc.