A Tribute to Typography: The Secret World Beyond the Words We See

Fonts influence humans more than people realize, with many daily decisions being swayed by the appearance of the word styles presented before them.

A restaurant with mute, cursive letters is the more likely place one will take a special date, while the restaurant with bright, bubbly letters is where one will buy dinner for the whole family.  A job application typed in Comic Sans will be tossed out by most sane employers.  People characterize the nature of products, the sophistication of others, and the quality of organizations all based on a variety of fonts seen on a regular basis.  While there are fonts that serve to fit certain basic situations, there are also distinguishable fonts that help identify character and style to a greater degree.  Upon looking through an extensive list of fonts, I found a letterpress typeface that was to my particular liking called Dans.  Dans was published in 2013 by a Catalan graphic designer who lives in Montblanc named Isaac Ballesté Martorell (Devroye).  Despite having only a sentence-worth of personal information on Martorell or on the inspiration for Dans, I found the font style hard to overlook.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  © 2019, Christian David Loeffler

As a lover of the city and of self-discovery, I found myself mesmerized by the characters in Dans.  The letters appear to have a very coarse and scratchy texture, reminding me of bricks when I first saw an image of the letters in red.  Bricks, and therefore the font, remind me of the city as well as the hopes and dreams of those who strive for success.  I remember reading so many inspirational stories about growing up in the city, many of which contained a similar font, making Dans somewhat nostalgic for me.  City residents have a greater focus on being career-oriented than discovering the self, which makes me think of struggles that some people go through in trying to create a personal identity.  The letters ultimately made me think of my two favorite coming-of-age stories that take place in the city, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chorbosky, so I decided to make a quote from the latter story out of Dans font cut-outs.

Dans font is also practically pleasing in terms of design.  The font contains characteristics similar to Times New Roman font, which is my favorite font.  Dans contains character ends that become less wide but cut off in a more rectangular shape, as opposed the pointed ends found in Times New Roman font.  The ends also point towards the center of the letter or are just absent from the letter in some cases.  I found Dans to still have aspects of what people deem to be a more professional font, while expressing a sense of playfulness in choice as well.  While there are some amazing fonts out there, typographers like Martorell are often unknown to most regular people.  Even typographers who helped create fonts that define the way Americans see language daily, such as Times New Roman and Helvetica – Lardent and Miedinger & Hoffman, respectively – are unknown to most adults (Lekach).

Next time you decide to type that paper until three in the morning, take a break and learn about the other artist contributing to your words.

Works Cited

  1. Devroye, Luc. “Isaac Ballesté Martorell.” Luc Devroye, luc.devroye.org/fonts-62099.html.
  2. Lekach, Maya. “8 Famous Fonts and Designers Who Made Them.” 99designs, 99designs, 23 Jan. 2018, 99designs.com/blog/creative-inspiration/8-famous-fonts-and-designers-who-made-them/.


2 thoughts on “A Tribute to Typography: The Secret World Beyond the Words We See”

  1. I really like your blog post and I found it really interesting. You immediately grabbed my attention when you were talking about the different kinds of fonts with menus, they are something we all use but don’t really think about the font and where it came from. I like how you went into a bit of research with the Dans font. In school we are always using Times New Roman for papers that I think sometimes we forget to branch out and see what else is out there when we are writing for fun. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

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