Typography (from the Greek words τύπος (typos) = form and γραφή (graphe) = writing) is the art and technique of arranging art to make language visible. So whether you have sighed at the over use of Comic Sans, or admired the subtle architecture of Bodoni Open-face - you spend time with fonts. Here are a few tools to make your life easier. Some may be old news for you, but remember, some people might be behind the “Times”.
Dafont.com is sometimes scoffed at in more formal design atmospheres, but for apparel design it is just what the doctor ordered. Hundreds of fonts that may work perfectly for your job. Some may be cheesy, but others are really great to play with. Try taking a more complex font, creating outlines, and then adjusting it to meet your needs. It will really help you with your vector manipulation skills as well.
What The FONT?!
“What the font” is for those days that someone sends you a scanned-in business card and has no idea what the font is. Maybe you don’t want to spend the time tracing it, or you like the font and you want to own it. First upload a screenshot* of just a portion of the type that you want to identify. (You may need to straighten it or adjust the contrast). The directions from there are pretty self explanatory.
This starts to get in to the geeky side of typography and that’s why I like it. You can identify fonts based on style of serifs, ascenders, descenders, and what have you. This may not be for the first time “type jockey”, but once you get in to it, you will certainly appreciate how deep the wormhole goes.
Sometimes, the best tool for type creation, type setting, and type diagnosis is your own ingenuity and the internet. I find myself tooling around looking for inspiration (read: procrastinating) quite a bit. Here are some of the most inspirational links I have found:
- Font Conference
- Neutraface - A Lady Gaga Type Parody
- I Love Typography
- The Post Family (These guys have been a huge inspiration to me since I moved to Chicago)
- Delicious Design League