I've been spending more and more of my time thinking about typography, fonts, and lettering. It's one of the foundations of communication. The typeface we use adds character to what we say in the same ways that inflection adds to the spoken word.
Here are a handful of videos I've seen recently that have impacted how I think about type.
Massimo Vignelli is most famous for designing the NYC Subway map. In this video, he speaks about typography, the history of fonts and argues that “There are good maybe a dozen (fonts)…I only really used three or four in my life.” He also argues that when designers are less good, they use more fonts. When they are really bad, they use them all.
Fonts also greatly affect the load time of web pages. Since most web fonts are almost always externally hosted, it’s even more important to be conscious of how many fonts you use. What would happen if we limited font choices more? What if you only could use Open Sans at two weights along with both the regular and italic versions. How would that affect what you designed? Would it force you to use other differentiators? Would color become more pronounced? Would size?
When one variable is taken away from the design process it doesn’t have to limit you; it can actually make your design more impactful.