Typography that Sings

Typography is as essential to the printed word as music is to a song. As music can be in concord, tension or dissonance with the words sung, so can type with the diction and syntax and phonological texture.

Impact or Trebuchet are not the typefaces to put with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concerti. And Zapfino is not for anything by Béla Bartók, I should think. So there is inappropriate typography, to be sure, and this is limited to bad font choices.

But just as there is music that is not only inappropriate to the companion words, or words that are not only inappropriate to the companion music, there can be plain bad typography.


2 responses to “Typography that Sings

  1. True! I should think maybe Trajan could be pretty elegant for use as a title font, paired with some sort of nice serif–Bell MT, anybody? 😀


  2. Considering that one has more calligraphic stroke thickness (in slant and in stroke contrast) and the other is more transitional, I wonder if the Bell MT caps would really complement Trajan. The capital “F” in particular doesn’t really match.

    Maybe an old-style serif would match better. If not, more obvious contrast might be in order. On the other hand, using Bodoni as the text face would look odd.


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