Advertising is hooked on creative designs, and rightly so. They’re the backbone of any good campaign and something we constantly strive for at adHOME.
While advertising can’t exist without a strong creative design, there is something that predates advertising itself. It’s humble nature means it ends up often as an overlooked and underestimated element in advertising: TYPOGRAPHY.
Typography has its roots in the language system and satisfies our need to communicate language in a visual way. Ever since the dawn of the printer in the 1600’s, typography has been visually communicating to people all over the world. It is a craft and art in and of itself.
Once a highly specialized skill, the onset of digital typography and the internet have been a bittersweet pill for the design industry to swallow. It’s opened up typography and the written word in a whole new way but also severely diluted the quality of it. This heritage is something that’s important to all of us and shouldn’t be forgotten.
Thinking of that heritage, there’s something permanent about typography that surpasses other elements of design. Indeed, in the past 50 years we have seen advertising completely transform itself aesthetically and stylistically. From the clean-focused VW ads to the visually stunning photography and illustration in campaigns from the likes of NIKE, there’s a plethora of type giants that have stood the test of time.
Classics such as Helvetica, Frutiger, Garamond and Didot are still as strong as ever. Although we’ve seen style trends in typography come and go with the times, there is certainly an element of stylistic longevity that we tend not to see anywhere else. The fact that tomorrow we’ll be designing a piece of work using a typeface that’s older than my great-grandfather is something to think about!
It’s these nostalgic thoughts that give us pride in our industry and work. There is a great skill and history involved in every piece that we create. Even though technology has opened up typography to the world, mastering it takes decades.
Remember humble typography and how it has shaped our lives. Give it the role it deserves in your next marketing project and watch it shape your results!