write: blog.typogram.co | work: typogram.co
How is your week going so far? This weekend I tweaked the format of the newsletter a bit. Take a look around, and you will notice that our weekly font tips are inside a section called Font of the Week. You will also see two new sections: Design Idea and Color Inspirations of the Week.
We have been talking about design ideas in many of the previous issues. With this new design idea section, I hope it can highlight bigger ideas in branding and marketing. The color column is created from the feedback I have received. With these newly organized sections, I hope they can inspire and help you create unique and exciting projects!
Img: sample of UnifrakturMaguntia
Way Back When We Blackletter
You might have seen a font like this on medieval-themed merchandise. Fonts of this genre are called Blackletter. It is a font style that originated from Western Europe in the 11th Century. There are several “styles” of Blackletter—all of them share common characteristics of sharp angular lines with significant contrasts.
Img: different styles of Blackletter. source: Wikipedia
Blackletter is enjoying a resurgence in contemporary visual branding. Brands are putting a modern spin on the traditional Blackletter. Nowadays, we often find it outside of its original, historical context.
As a Blackletter font, UnifrakturMaguntia has a traditional design that brings a specific historic feel. Before using, think about whether it is appropriate for your brand. If you decide to use UnifrakturMaguntia and worry about looking dated, you can combine this font with trendy color combinations and font pairings.
Img: Gutenberg’s Bible is one of the best-known examples of Blackletter. source: library of congress
- Large and sharp contrast in strokes
- Uppercase letters are slightly round
Img: font details of UnifrakturMaguntia. As you can see, the uppercase is very hard to read.
General Usage Tips
- More suitable for logoHas only one weightAvoid using excessively. It is hard to read for marketing copy.
Specific Usage Tips
How do I use it for logo?
- Communicates history and traditions (from Europe)
- Perfect for brands wanting to emphasize historic, traditional, or artisanal themes
- Some brands used Blackletter for purely aesthetic purposes; for example, Glossier “G.”
How do I use it for marketing and branding?
- It is more suitable for display purpose to wow audience
- Perfect for Instagram, wrapping paper, t-shirt, showpieces
Img: left-top: book made using UnifrakturMaguntia; left-bottom: Juicy Couture brand; middle-top: New York Times reimagined as a modernized Blackletter; middle-bottom: Glossier G logo mark using a black letter; right-top: film poster for Only Lovers Alive; right-bottom: design studio Priest and Grace logomark. source: fontsinuse, elitedaily, priestandgrace.com
Renowned design writer Steven Heller once said, “in art as in life, white space is the ultimate luxury.” Inside an art gallery, we see many white walls. This is also true for design. Inside coffee table books, we see layouts with minimal content per page. In luxury product websites, we see spacious pages with simple typography. Products are often displayed on a muted gray background to give the illusion of more space. White space is the ultimate signifier of an upscale attitude. It shows that there is plenty of room to spare. It communicates luxury. Can this idea play into your design project?
Img: white space, also known as the negative space, is the unused, unmarked space around the content
This issue uses colors inspired by Spring.
Img: colors palettes from spring flowers.
Can you use UnifrakturMaguntia, white space, or this week’s color palette to create a Twitter or Instagram visual for your project?
…for reading and staying here another week.
UnifrakturMaguntia is available here.
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