New to Typophile? Accounts are free, and easy to set up.
ok, so...I am writing an article on
Anthropomorphism & Zoomorphism of Typography
I have a loose outline with some themes & concepts I'd like to touch on.
I want to get some feedback, good & bad.
Here is what I have.
"The next time you are choosing a font for a project or even if you are considering the next font you'd like to sketch and eventually develop, consider the anthropomorphic qualities of your characters.
Anthropomorphism is the implication and application of human characteristics applied to a tangible object, theme or ideal.
Zoomorphism: the implication and application of animal characteristics applied to a tangible object, theme or ideal.
Most copy text is intended to be gender neutral and have a welcoming, calming effect. If you are going to read a book, an essay or even several length paragraphs, you do not want to be bombarded with masculinity that hinders legibility or with swashes and femininity that distracts from the content: the message of the text.
For instance Centaur, an old style serif typeface, designed by Bruce Rogers, is a formal but inviting font: welcoming you to read the text.
Notice the x-height, swashes, serifs, tails, counters. Does the typeface strike you with a gender? High ascenders (and low descenders) lean towards femininity and low ascenders (and high descenders) have a quieter, more masculine voice.
A blacklister typeface is very harsh with its calligraphic angles... (mentioning something of this being manly and bordering on angry: the far end of playful or childlike)
If the font is ambiguous to gender or mood, can you determine an associated animalistic quality? Do you see a distinct elephant trunk, giraffe neck, monkey tail, platypus bill?
Zoomorphism is ubiquitous in illustrated manuscripts. The Book of Kells contains initial capitals that are snakes and peacocks. This might be more illustrious that characteristic of the letterforms but the concept is rich in the text & images.
There are reasons we use terms like arm, shoulder, spine & ear."
Coquette, Mark Simonson
Buttermilk. Jessica Hische
Century Schoolbook, Linn Boyd Benton
Eurostile, Aldo Novarese
What do you think can be added or subtracted from this to make it a richer, clearer article? Any fonts that are distinctly a specific animal or contain anatomic elements of an animal? Additional thoughts?
I'd also like to know why Matthew Carter named a font Elephant. When I think of the animal, I see a very low contrast creature (in terms of weight) with a stout torso and tree trunks for legs; when I see the font [Elephant], I see a very high contrast font with the ball terminals and hairline shoulders, etc. This might be too far from the rest of the post. Carter is also a hero of mine, so I don't mean the question with ill intent.
Thank you, sorry this is lengthy post.