• Transform magazine
  • October 15, 2019

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Fontsmith's new style guide helps designers classify typefaces

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Type foundry Fontsmith has released a style guide for graphic designers, to help them decipher and recognise the most common Latin typefaces.

The world of type design is in constant motion, making it arduous to find common ground for the whole discipline. Understanding the historical roots of digital typography can provide designers with better knowledge of their craft, leading them to more inspired and grounded choices for new logos, letterings or font pairings. To this end, London-based Fontsmith has released a typeface style guide digging into the roots of type design to demystify the discipline’s most useful terminology.

Type design is a key element in branding; it can inspire emotions and convey mood, tone of voice and identity. A typeface is often one of the first points of contact between a brand and its audience, and it is fundamental to send the intended message across. Every graphic element must be chosen with accuracy and care; typography style guides such as Fontsmith’s can help with the design process, by providing guidance and historical knowledge to those willing to create conscious, solid and consistent design.

From serifs to graphic scripts and incised fonts, Fontsmith’s guide dives into the most common Latin typefaces to analyse their design principles and historical influences, looking for a classification yet willingly refusing to find universal values. It details proportions, angles, contrast, strokes and font families, painting a comprehensive picture of the most popular scripts at the heart of type design.

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