5 Tips for Typographic Best Practices

This was my first year at Typographics 2018. Typographics 2018 is a conference for typography enthusiasts around the world, that’s held at Cooper Union. There were panelists from San Francisco, Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Japan; it really felt like a truly international experience.

I had the chance to sit in on both the conference and TypeLab parts of Typographics. Here are a few highlights from the panels/breakout sessions that I really enjoyed:

1.     Emojis = Pictures + Character (Jennifer Daniel, Google Emoji)

Emojis are images that may translate into different meanings across different devices. Jennifer gave an example about how the “dumpling” emoji looks different across different chat platforms –every culture has a dumpling!

I found an interesting tension in this statement –emojis should have a consistent user experience (across platforms), yet still be personalized to their users.

2.     Ubiquitous type is can cause user confusion (Mr. Keedy)

Mr. Keedy created Keedy Sans, a popular font in the 90’s. The font was considered “uncool” 10 years later and used everywhere. Keedy sans is used on teenage girl makeup packaging, as well as winebars. This could create a bad user experience for people because of lack of branding. Last year, Mr. Keedy refreshed his font –to create greater customization and allow Keedy fans to layer the font for interesting visual effects.

3.     Braille is a form of typography (Ellen Lupton, Cooper Hewitt)
Ellen talked about how blind individuals read Braille in a unique way –holding it across their body. She also demonstrated a blind person’s experience watching music videos by showing the accessibility voiceover.

4.     Brand holds content together with design (Gale Bichler, NYTimes)

Gale foused on how the New York Times(NYT) has branded itself as a publication that experiments with many types of fonts. NYT can play around with different types and massive fonts as illustration. If someone picks up a page from the floor, they can usually tell that it’s from the New York Times because of branding.

5.     Picking fonts is like eating ice cream. (Veronika Burian and Jose Scaglione, Type Together)

When combining fonts, look at mechanic and organic feels. Veronika and Jose talked about how people like humanist fonts, with a hint of a calligrapher’s hand. Ideally, you should find a balance typefaces share a common language.

Typographics' common theme is that typography crosses a wide range of mediums and senses. Braille, emojis, and branding are all expressions of current visual elements.

Which fonts do you find to be the most engaging and accessible fonts?