The Weight of Font Pt 2

In this week’s readings, I really enjoyed Ellen Lupton’s Type On Screen chapters about text effects. While I had learned much about font family’s and different typefaces from last week’s readings and tutorials, I figured text effects and usage would be fairly straightforward. There are fewer tools to manipulate text compared to the myriad fonts available, yet these tools can have subtle but just as powerful of an effect on the design’s impact. One of my favorite examples involved a poster for HRDWRKCO on page 67. The space between letters and size of some words waxed and waned to provide a rhythm to the phrase that echoed the rhythm of working hard all day. Simple kerning and font size provided an interesting contrast with great success.


WMATA’s recent campaign to halt sexual harassment in the system uses effective visual design to get noticed among the many other advertisements and cell phone screens in the metro. One particular advertisement caught my eye due to it’s interesting use of text effects. Similar to the HRDWRKCO example, the kerning technique gives the design movement and in this case, a full stop.

The letters are kerned with wide letter spacing leading to a narrow letter spacing to give movement. A lack of focus also adds to this sense of movement. While this was clearly done with design or publisher software, I was able to use some of the techniques mentioned by Lupton and exemplified in this design on my website. Simply adding additional line spacing made a huge difference to my portfolio’s readability. Adding in-line span elements to certain words- letter spacing, bold, or italics, also improved the impact of important words in my content.

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