Type palettes

BY CHUCK GREEN Is the primary purpose of document design aesthetic? To my way of thinking—no. The first and, by far, the most important role of design is to map out the message.

No matter how entertaining and visually exciting it is, the success of an ad, a brochure, or a newsletter is gauged by results alone—how many people are moved to action.

Typography plays a dual role in design. First and foremost it transmits the message. Good typography, as advertising master David Ogilvy put it, “helps people read your copy, while bad typography prevents them from doing so.”

Second, the character of a typeface establishes a mood, much like a musical score does for a movie—it is not necessarily the primary focus, but it often plays a pivotal role in telling the story. And like a piece of music, a typeface can rocket to the top of the charts then fall into oblivion, find its niche in an established genre or, in rare cases, become a timeless classic. How we classify it, by the emotion or mood it portrays, is pure opinion.

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These “type palettes” are a combinations of typefaces that, in my opinion, work together to elicit a particular mood or emotion. Some are my own inventions, others are taken from publications that I think convey a clear message. Each palette includes a headline, a subhead, text and a caption. If you like a particular combination, the typefaces and sizes are listed in the color box along with the name of the foundry that publishes them.

You can purchase direct from many foundries or from a source such as Myfonts.com that sells fonts from many different publishers. Check my jumpola.com for an extensive list of type foundries.

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