Beautiful typography has sadly diminished
There has been a disturbing trend lately of incredibly gorgeous fonts that make bad typography. How can that be? Beautiful typography has become very rare. To understand that, we need to look at what good typography is. I often tell my students and apprentices this general principle.
Beautiful typography is not noticed!
You notice and absorb the content. If you notice the typography or font, you are missing the purpose of your design. Here’s an example of a new font design that is touted as wonderful, that is absolutely useless. I wouldn’t call it gorgeous, but it makes a strong example to start with.
Mommie by Jocham
CLICK ON THE IMAGE (CAPTURED FROM THE MYFONTS SITE) TO BUY THE FONT
Like most scripts, it is very hard to read. But, beyond that, the “beauty” of the font is very distracting. (I must confess that I do not find it good-looking at all, personally). I have never seen this font where I actually read the copy. I was always struck by the font design. That is not a good thing.
Let’s look at an undeniably gorgeous font family
Caramel by Leuschke
IF YOU WANT TO BUY IT, CLICK ON THE IMAGE WHICH IS TAKEN FROM THE MYFONTS SITE
This one is by a lettering artist named Rob Leuschke and it is exquisite: modern, graceful, beautiful, any of hundreds of other adjectives. Like all scripts, there are severe readability issues.
However, the real issue again is its very beauty. That gets in the way of actual use because it is almost impossible to use this font without people reacting to the font design instead of the content it is expressing.
This is not limited to scripts alone
Increasingly, we are seeing serif and sans serif families which have the same issues. As independent font designers continue to increase, we are seeing ever more personal expressions of typographic beauty. Many of these are very hard to use because the design is so intrusive.