I’m pretty sure there was a time when those alphabet blocks were to me the most fascinating, most intriguing things ever! The letter E must have been mysterious, and distinguishing it from F challenging. And learning to spell C-A-T, well, that must have been a proud moment. But I can’t remember. I’m now so immersed in the day-to-day sea of words that I often take the letters for granted and hardly pay attention to them.
And so it’s just awesome to (re)discover that childhood wonder and be reminded of the beauty of every single letter in the alphabet–thanks to the artists and designers who come up with typefaces and the different products and art forms inspired by type.
Words convey meaning, but there’s tons of meaning too–non-verbal, emotional, and sometimes purely aesthetic–contained in the individual characters themselves, expressed eloquently through serifs, lines, curves, and flourishes–or lack of them. There’s subtext in the use of block type or script, bold or italic, grungy or kiddy.
I get a little tingly when I see type in places I don’t expect to find it, or where they’re used in strange new ways. And when they’re as fabulously executed as the typography in these images, I get a lot thrilled.
And now for a little comic relief… Watch some fonts duke it out in these videos.