Expressive Typography

Type can be rendered lots of different ways. When deciding how to render your type, it depends on the kind of project and the audience. One way to render type is called expressive. Expressive typography is using letterforms to create a visual image to express a message to the audience in a more dynamic way.

The definition from states, “Letters are not just abstract notions, carriers of meaning; they are also real, physical shapes. Paying attention to those shapes, and using them as a visual element in graphic design, is an essential part of the art of typography.”

Expressive type can show physical subjects but it can also show emotions, thoughts, and energy and motion. The type will have a connection to the visual to express the meaning or concept to its audience. Words can be interpreted in different ways to represent a meaning. Look at some of the great examples below:

Work By Rachel
Sink By Tracy Baker

The type can sometimes appear to look like an illusion to also form an image. The letterforms are used to create shapes or outlines in a compelling way, which leave gaps for the human eye to fill in. Sometimes the type can appear random by it is carefully and accurately placed. The work below is a great example of this:

Ad from “The New York Times”

Expressive type can be fun, but you need to be cautious when designing with it. Typography rules still need to be kept in mind and it’s important to make sure content is appropriate for the concept and its target audience. To learn more about expressive typography check out the following links below:




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