Under Consideration’s Gotham Logos Tumblr is a reminder of why it’s important to take risks when choosing a typeface.
Gotham Logos is as simple as it sounds – logos set in Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ Gotham, over and over again. The individual posts do not offer any commentary on the application or overall design, but in the description Under Consideration writes, “The purpose isn't to mock its ubiquity, belittle the results, or pigeonhole the designers that use it but to demonstrate its flexibility and adaptability to any number of graphic approaches and executions.”
That’s a noble purpose, though what’s striking is not flexibility, but lack of imagination. The typeface was created in 2000 for GQ and, though popular from its release, reached its highest levels of visibility on the cornerstone for New York’s Freedom Tower and throughout Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign (they've updated it with serifs for 2012).
Is Gotham used extensively because it really is the right choice or does it result from a fear of making the wrong choice? Choosing the right typeface can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Some things we consider when choosing typefaces include:
- Context: will it be be seen on a phone screen or on top of a building?
- Audience: who is the intended for and what preferences or concerns does they have?
- Personality: what is the tone of the desired message?
Tens of thousands of fonts are out there for our consumption and choosing a typeface is something people from the design profession to anyone who uses Microsoft Word do every day. New fonts are being designed all the time because we are continually presented with new challenges to how we interact with the written word.
Being creative when choosing typeface can pay off by standing out the mind of your target audience. Have you seen creative type selections? Ideas about other considerations for choosing type? Drop a line in the comments!