Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
Fonts, like all of us, have a particular character. Pun intended. Their shapes can suggest a tone of voice, encourage a level of formality or urgency, or trigger associations with other products or brands. Some allow for fast reading on screens, or easier prolonged reading on paper. A brief foray into internet resources regarding font design will take you into a world of nuance and technical detail, for which you might need to learn a host of interesting terms: glyphs; ligatures; kerning; hinting. Fonts can be fascinating and beautiful, and designing them is a creative and highly technical skill. Nevertheless, we can appreciate them in terms of their characteristics and utility, their history and heritage, and their intent in communicating brand philosophies, by comparing different choices made by MRI manufacturers. Let’s look at some examples, using the fonts seen in printed materials by Philips, Siemens, and GE.