Typography – Analysis

This week in my Visual Media class we are learning and reading about typography. There is this quote about typography that I thought I would share with you guys.

“Dear Typography, 

I know you don’t get enough credit for what you do. Few people are aware of your existence and fewer people know how much you influence things they like. It’s difficult because you always remind us of something else. I want to you to know that I see you. If you ever feel insignificant, consider this; if it wasn’t for you no one would have any information.”

The Original Image

LL Bean Typography Analysis

Source: L.L. Bean Holiday 2011 Magazine Front Cover

I found this image google searching L.L. Bean ads.

Analysis

First Typeface: Slab serif

LL Bean Typography Analysis

Some basic characteristics of slab serif types are that the serifs (which are the longer lines added to the letter) are horizontal and have thick slabs.

  • For example, take a look at the capital “l”s in L.L. Bean or the “n” in Bean.

You can also distinguish what a “slab serif” type is the fact that they have little to no thick-thin transition in the strokes of the character.  These types also have a vertical stress which is a line that can be drawn through the thinnest part of the curved strokes.

  • For example, take a look at the “e” in Bean. The thinnest part of the curved stroke in the character is vertical or straight down, which is why it is called vertical stress.

After looking at this spread some more, I realized that the “Free $10 Gift Card” and “with purchase of $50 or more” are also examples of slab serif.

Second Typeface: Sans serif

LL Bean Typography Analysis 1

Sans serifs are typefaces without serif. The word “sans” means “without”. Sans serifs have no stresses because there is no thick-thin transition. The transitions in the characters are the same with no differentiating factor in them.

  • For example, the word “shipped” has no transitions, it is the same thickness through it all.

Sans serif can also be used in italics to have a more flowing form.

To play it safe, using slab serif and sans serif is always a good idea. An element that makes these two typefaces contrasting is that the designer of this magazine spread chose to either cap the letters or italicize the letters which belong to the typeface of sans serif.

Conclusion 

Before I started taking my Visual Media, I was aware of the concept of typography, yet I didn’t truly appreciate how different types can affect a quote, spread, or layout. It impacts us in more ways than one. It impacts how we read things and can either influence a reader to keep reading or not even begin. Like the quote that I shared in the beginning of this post, typography influences an image. Typography can influence how a person feels towards a particular image. It has more power than sometimes we give credit to.

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