How Do Designers Choose Typefaces?



This question originally appeared on Quora.

Answer by Craig Weiland, art director:

This is a fascinating question.

I’m a font guy. I love type, and I love studying and using typefaces. “How do I choose the right font?” is such a simple question, yet there are so many ways to answer it.

For one thing, I’ve been paying attention to fonts my whole life. Ever since my parents got me The Print Shop on my Commodore 64 when I was 13 years old, I’ve been aware of how typefaces have personality and that personality is suitable for some uses andwildly improper for others.

For instance, does this logo’s typeface communicate the kind of things you’d go to a massage parlor for? I’d expect to walk out of there bruised and bloody. Or would you trust your financial well-being to a CPA with this logo? It’s not even spelled correctly. Ashley must not be a “details person.” Would you drop your children off here? “Leave your payment in a brown paper bag near the bench in the park. Cash only, nonsequential bills. We’ll tell you where to collect your child.” Here are a few more examples of these for further illustration.

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