Typography – a simple, yet important skill

This image is a quote taken from the October 2013 General Conference talk “No Other Gods” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This image can be located on lds.org as part of the media library.


This image has two contrasting fonts, which is why I picked it (as well as the fact that it’s beautiful. I love temples!).


Typeface One: Oldstyle

This style of typography is Oldstyle, meaning that it is based on handlettering done by scribes. A quote from The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams states, “You can image a wedge-tipped pen held in the hand when you look carefully at their shape.” This font style always has serifs, and lowercase letters always have an angled serif, such as the letters d and i in this image.









Typeface Two: Script

This portion of typography in this image would be considered script. Script is identified as anything that looks as though it’s been handlettered by a calligraphy pen or brush. They can include scripts that do and do not connect (such as cursive versus this one). Script font faces should be used sparingly and only in small increments, such as in this image.

Contrasting Elements

The contrasts of these font types are pretty obvious. The Oldstyle font is very legible, and is something you would likely see in a novel. It’s meant to make reading easy on the eyes and can be very plain when used by itself. The script font is meant to look handwritten, beautiful, and elegant, but can be overwhelming and uncomfortable when used too often in an image, or when used in all caps. The Oldstyle font has serifs, whereas the script font doesn’t focus on serifs, but rather on curves, as though written in cursive by hand. These two fonts compliment each other well because of their contrast.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this design is beautiful and elegant. The wonderful photography of the temple is complimented (rather than hindered or even destroyed) by the typography in this image. The Oldstyle and script fonts have enough contrast to compliment each other, rather than clash and make the image unattractive. The script font is used sparingly for only two words (the two most important words in the quote, perhaps) and everything else is left in plain Oldstyle in order to make it legible, easier on the eyes, and elegant.


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