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Unique & Personal

Hand-lettering lets you add personality and offer that unique, personal touch to your message.


While we’ve talked so much about actual fonts, let’s not forget that hand-lettering’s popularity is growing. Custom-made typography is charming, unique and special, and more and more brands are realizing it. Hand-lettering can be anything. Any shape and size. Any style. But most importantly, you’ll always get something one-of-a-kind, which adds a huge amount of personality to your brand or product.

This is hand-lettered by our very own Kim Smith. 

Modern & Industrial

Outline fonts like Phosphate are everywhere. They evoke a look of power and authority.

Phosphate Pro is an all-caps sans serif font family with an inline weight, and was created in 2010. The original Phosphate was published by International TypeFounders, and the family was based on the ‘Phosphor’ typeface created by Jakob Erbar for Ludwig and Mayer, circa 1922-30. Phosphate Pro has incredible presence and its power shines in display format.

Calm & Tranquil

Want your material to evoke calmness and tranquility? San serif fonts do the job. Such as Gotham Book, a fav of ours, it’s simplistic, yet powerful. 

Gotham is a family of widely used geometric sans-serif digital typefaces designed by American type designer Tobias Frere-Jones in 2000. Gotham’s letterforms are inspired by a form of architectural signage that achieved popularity in the mid-twentieth century, and are especially popular throughout New York City.

Loud & Bold

a love affairWhen you want your main design element to stand out and be visible from far away, use a loud and bold typeface like Interstate UltraBlack.

That’s why this Interstate is perfect for road signs. Interstate is a digital typeface designed by Tobias Frere-Jones in the period 1993–1999, and licensed by Font Bureau. The typeface is based on Style Type E of the FHWA Series fonts, a signage alphabet drawn for the United States Federal Highway Administration by Dr. Theodore W. Forbes in 1949.

Now that’s a fun little fact!

a love affair…

a love affairDo you think it’s possible to be touched by a typeface? To have strong feelings for a font? After you read our thoughts on their role in design, we think you’ll say I do!

First, let’s clarify the terms. You may hear typeface and font used interchangeably. But, in fact, they are not the same. The difference between a font and a typeface is like that between songs and an album. The former makes up the latter. Remember that and you’re good to go. 

For example: a typeface would be Helvetica, and a font would be distinction within the typeface, such as 12 point Helvetica Bold.

In the next few posts we’ll define various styles of typefaces to think about when choosing the perfect font for your design. Stay tuned!

Happy National Ampersand Day!

national ampersand dayOnce the last letter of the alphabet. A ligature of e & t (et in Latin means and).

Just for those who like to keep things grammatically correct, ampersands can be properly used to represent “and” in phrases and names, but not in the structure of a sentence as a substitute for the word “and.”

#allhailtheampersand #funtosay #funtouse #nationalampersandday

dare to doodle!

doodleo
If you’ve ever been told that doodling is a pointless waste of time, fear not. It turns out that doodling is an awesome way to unlock creativity and stay engaged.

In “The Doodle Revolution,” author Sunni Brown reports that some of our greatest thinkers doodled: Steve Jobs, John F. Kennedy, Henry Ford, to name a few. Brown works with companies to teach them how the use of visual language can encourage greater creativity and productivity.

Doodling in the workplace is not a bad thing, according to Brown. Here’s why:

  • Doodling engages the mind in a way that helps the doodler think and process information.
  • Doodling helps you focus, contrary to beliefs that it shows signs of boredom and loss of focus. It is actually an anchoring task, a pre-emptive measure that can keep you from losing focus.
  • Doodling can help find new solutions. “Even if you’re just scribbling in the margins, you’re lighting up different networks in your brain,” Brown writes. Using many neurological networks at the same time creates what Brown calls “a portal for imaging and inventing preferred realities.”

Doodling is a frequent and favorite activity around the offices of TCG Advertising & Design. We always felt it was a way to help us get out of a rut and spark a new way of thinking about an issue or problem. So we say: Doodle on!

Note: We learned about Brown’s book from Entrepreneur online columnist Lisa Evans, herself a doodler.