Steve Jobs is not the first person who springs to mind when we think of typefaces or fonts but surprisingly he had a huge influence on our use of fonts today. How come? Well, in 1984 his first Macintosh computer came with a full pull-down menu offering a selection of typefaces which, for the first time, gave us all the ability to easily express ourselves through different fonts without having to rely on a graphic designer or printer.
It surprised us to learn that Steve was fascinated by something so un-techy as calligraphy but he genuinely was. He noticed that the signs around his college were all hand-written, in different tones. The posters, general announcements and even letters on drawers were all written in different styles. So, when Steve dropped out of College (yes, he dropped out of College, who’d have thought) he found he had some spare time and so dropped-in on courses that looked more interesting. One of those course was Calligraphy. Here, he said "I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.” We couldn’t say it better ourselves so we won’t try.
Typefaces are powerful. Change the typeface of the word and it can change the emotions it evokes …
SAY SOMETHING IN CAPITALS IT CAN SOUND LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING, but use the same typeface in light italics and it becomes more of a whisper or an aside.
The serif typeface (one with squiggles at the end of each stroke) is more formal, traditional and perhaps masculine.
The same typeface without serifs is altogether more modern and feminine.
A whimsical, lighter curly font feels very traditional and sophisticated at the same time
whilst a modern hand script typeface is chatty and more personal
From having little choice in 1984 we are now inundated with different typeface available to us. There are literally hundreds of thousands on offer and choosing the right one can be seem daunting and impossible. When we set up Grace we wanted to make ordering personal stationery simple so we trawled through thousands of typefaces and selected 4 stunning fonts that we think represent the best of their style. We’ve covered Masculine/Feminine, Contemporary/Traditional, Chatty/Formal and Old/New but, if you can’t find one here that feels comfortable, we will be happy to fully bespoke your stationery using a typeface of your choice. Email us at customerservice @gracepaper.co.uk and we will see what we can do.
A glimpse of “Letters” by Idris Khan 2018, Kettles Yard.