Impact of vintage typography on ethos (Matt Murphy TWR 2013-14)

Matt Murphy, a student in Algonquin College’s Technical Writing graduate certificate program, wrote this entry regarding design conventions as part of the TWR2010 Visual Information Design course:

One design element that has been making a comeback in the web design, clothing, and music industry sectors is that of vintage typography. Such typography may evoke a tone of authenticity, even if contrived, to the garment, album cover, or webpage. By using such characters on a relatively new brand of hats, for example, the typography can give the impression that the company has a rich and successful history. As a result, a new hat company with old-fashioned typography can aim for an ethos comparable to that of Stetson.

This form of type may also be making a comeback as a form of nostalgia. In a world where companies are becoming less personal and more short-lived, some people may feel more secure with a brand that reflects a simpler time when hard work, personal relationships with customers, and product quality were higher priority.

Although such typography may create visual noise if overused, it can create an old-school business ethos and a sense of authenticity when used judiciously.

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3 thoughts on “Impact of vintage typography on ethos (Matt Murphy TWR 2013-14)

  1. I’ve been a big typography fan for years, so this caught my eye. I will watch for this trend. I was amused by the caution to use vintage typography judiciously: how many design elements have become popular, gotten overused, and become visual noise? Mies van der Rohe is still right, about design (and about good writing, too): less is more.

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