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1/20 Choosing a typeface. A thread.
Allow me to geek out for a bit.
2/20 When choosing a typeface I use two parameters: Association and Purpose. What does the typeface tell me instinctively, and why was it made specifically?
3/20 Association. Basically gut feeling, but what do you think about when you see the typeface? Where does it take you? Does it fit the tone and style of the content your working on or will it clash?
4/20 The same message set in different typefaces will communicate very different things.
5/20 Every typeface was made for a specific purpose. They have a reason for being. Read the foundry’s* sales-pitch or check Wikipedia. Some typefaces are made for printing, some for web design, some for street signs etc.

*companies that make typefaces are called type foundries.
6/20 Of course you don’t have to care about these things. You can use Bell Centennial for your big headlines even though it was designed for being tiny in phone books. But maybe there are similar typefaces that’s better suited for large scale?
7/20 This is also why people love to hate Comic Sans. It was designed for a specific thing but people use it for everything else. It’s great for kindergarden newsletters, just not as great for other things.
8/20 An example. The typeface used for RPG4BLM on the @DissidentRPG cover is Martin by Vocal Type (a foundry seeking to diversify a very white and male typeface business), based on letter shapes from the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968.…
9/20 Another example: Ink traps. These little pits in the letters are found in typefaces designed for very small sizes in print. The idea is to avoid overflowing ink, and “trap” it into these holes. Not made for larger sizes. Or, it could look cool, but that's not their purpose.
10/20 Other things to look for when choosing a typeface: How many fonts does it have? Some only have one, some have four (regular, bold and both in italic). You might want to have a wide range of options. Depending on the project.
11/20 Also take a look at the glyphs (letters/symbols) available. Does it cover what you need? If you’re considering translating to other languages in the future, will it have things like åäöæø? How about cyrillic?
12/20 Does it have ligatures, optional thing like swashes, small caps and ornaments? A typeface doesn’t NEED to have all this, but it sure doens’t hurt!
13/20 Traditionally you’d want to have as few typefaces as possible for one project. My recommendation is to keep it between 1-3. Primary and secondary body text, and headings.
14/20 You’ll need a typeface for your primary body text. Serif styles are specifically designed for this, and some argue that the little “feet” on the letters form an invisible line that makes it easier for the eye to follow and read. Pictured: Skolar Latin Pro (@Team_Symbaroum)
15/20 If you’re making RPG books, you might also want to have a typeface for secondary body text; fact boxes, tables, image captions etc. Preferably a low contrast sans-serif that works well in small sizes. Pictured: Harriet Text and Journal Sans New. (Oktoberlandet @FriaLigan)
16/20 For the larger headings you’d want a display typeface with a lot of character and identity. Something that works in BIG sizes. Something that will give spice and flavor to your design. Don’t overuse it though. Pictured: Adhesive Nr. Seven. (@MorkBorg)
17/20 Things like subheadings, quotes, infographics and other design elements should use a mix of all these typefaces. Subheadings should probably be set in a the same as the body text, but bold. But it all depends on the design.
18/20 Of course you can (should?) break the rules and do your own thing, but I believe that one should always learn the rules before breaking them. So that you know what you’re breaking and _why_. Pictured again, MÖRK BORG.
19/20 So in conclusion: Pick typefaces based on Association and Purpose. Use one to three different typefaces: one for primary body text, one for secondary body text and one for large headlines. And have fun! Also break the rules.
20/20 That’s it for this time. I might make more rambling threads like this in the future. Maybe on how I usually set a body text (spacing/kerning, line width, leading etc)?
Side note. You can see more of Oktoberlandet (more nerd alert) here:
Also I realize that I sure fucked up this one. This is obviously NOT an ffi ligature, but an ffl. Everyone makes mistakes!
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