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[PE] Look Around You : Typography

Mini Font Ethnography (a photo essay)

5 good uses of typography in the world

Typography is an integral part of our routine whether or not we notice that. I’ve captured such 5 photos which depicts good use of typography namely Brand Names, Documents, Ads/Posters, Road Signs & Licence Plate. And here’s what I have noticed the trends in typefaces used in these photos.

Brand Name – “SONY”



Fonts used here are Clarendon Wide which belongs to uses Serif category. Looks very classy and bold in itself. We can see slight extension at the ends of the letters give them base/roots. Style seems to be every green

Documents – “Exam Certificate”


Drawing Exam Certificate

Fonts used here are Engravers Old English FS. As name says they look like old English fonts. Quite bold and visually appealing. But again fonts aren’t that easily readable at a glance. These are the fonts generally used in certificates and awards documents. They appear calligraphic.

Ads/Posters – “UMBC Women’s Volleyball Poster”


UMBC Women’s Volleyball Team

Fonts used here are FT Industry Machine. They fall under the Sans Serif category of the font’s family. Wide, bold and heavily outlined fonts make an appropriate appearance on big posters. They are more visual and big. Typeface stands out from the background as they have their own thick border.

Street Signs – “Gateway TERR”


Gateway TERR

Fonts used here are Fuller Sans DT Cond which again falls under sans serif category of font family. Typeface are easy to read quickly and we are most family with. Fonts can be read from faraway. Thickness of letters are equally laid out.

Licence Plate – “48341 CE”


48341 CE

Fonts used here are Driver Gothic Pro which again falls under sans serif category of font family. Names speaks for itself each letter is nicely spaced. Easily detectable by traffic cameras. TypeFace seems to be in blocked manner.

2 Things that uses 5 typefaces

The Good of 5 typefaces


Drawing Exam Certificate

In above photo we observe 5 different typefaces and each of them signifies its presence. The top bold, old English heading state the authority of the certificate issuing; dotted typeface signifies the individual’s entered information; handwritten typeface represents the purpose of the certificate; Cursive fills up the matter of the certificate. Water mark and foot notes are easily readable typefaces.

All the text are organised, laid out in planned and beautiful way depicting its own significance making the overall look of the documents an vivid one. Thus, this is epitome of good use of 5 typefaces.

The Bad use of 5 typefaces


Balti-more map poster

In above poster, handwritten – comic sort of font is used with its various typefaces and similar other typefaces, too. Blue coloured typeface seems to be overused. Double-lined “Power House” at the bottom of the poster doesn’t signify its presence at all. Typefaces and the meaning of the text doesn’t at all match throughout the poster.

All the text looks jumbled-up, various typefaces are nearly similar to one another and none stands out expressing their own significance. Thus, this an example of bad use of 5 typefaces.

6 concepts



Respect – ( UMBC Catelog )


IMG_6218 - Hip.JPG

Hip – ( Adidas T-Shirt )



Boring  – ( Random magazine text )



Fresh – ( ZipCar Promo Poster )



Overused – (Balti-more map poster)



Feminine – ( A Victoria Secret Product )

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