Typefaces that say something about me

Typefaces fascinate me for years. I believe that the design of a typeface contains a vast amount of different design and communications aspects. A good typeface can make me handle any content differently.

There are so many signals and messages within each and every typeface. The ability to communicate rich messages in such a small space (the graphical representation of text), is preserved to the most talented, high-end, and well educated designers. Therefore, I would not pretend to be able to unlock these messages, and to use them correctly to empower my messages. Instead, I’ll just use my humble interpretation of typefaces to express a few of my personal characteristics. The descriptive text of each typeface and personal characteristic is much needed in this case, I believe.


shyAlthough I tend to be talkative and expressive, I see myself as a very shy person, who doesn’t reveal his deep thoughts, fears, and complications.

The Lato typeface, specially in its Hairline style, always feels in the right place, doing what it was suppose to be doing. He helps me to communicate my message, but more often then not, I ask myself “what is Lato’s message? what’s his take on the content?”. I always end-up thinking that I really don’t know what was Lato actual affect on the text. This typeface is somewhat transparent to me. Useable, present, but not really there.


learnI love to learn. I feel that these delicate lonely hours are the building blocks of my personality. I learn mostly (but not solely) using my laptop, my iPad, or any other electronic device. Designed to be used on digital interfaces, the Palatino typeface is very readable, and to me, very calming. I feel like I can look at it for hours and hours without any need for a break.

humanAs much as I love computers and computation, I’m always triggered by the human work behind them. The decision making that made a product the way it is, or the personal story behind the design, are the things that get me attached to these experiences. The human touch makes me feel closer to things, and I always look for these signals. The Sketch Rockwell is a (very) humane take on the classic industrial looking Rockewell font, designed on 1934.


analyticI’m very analytic. I try to think about life from an analytic stand point, and not from an emotional stand point. More often than not, I fail to do that. The Courier typefaces is one of the fonts I really hate. It’s a monospace typeface, that doesn’t look monospace at all. It was designed to look like the letters of a typewriter, but these types of letters are very hard to read on digital displays. It was meant to be practical, but has serif lines attached to the letters. To me, this typeface looks like it is failing in being analytic and practical.


optimisticI tend to be very optimistic. Not because I always think positively, but because I tend not to think negatively.
In my opinion, the Raleway typeface emphasize that pretty well. It is very clean, but sometimes curvy, which makes me want to smile when I look at it. It is very hollow and breezy, which makes me think about the future, but also very elegant, which makes my feel thankful about the present. It is not at all stiff, which emphasise the lack of negative thinking patterns.


eng_vs_dsgCategorization is very important sometimes. Specially, when there is not proper category for you. I’m always in the conflict between looking at myself as an engineer or as a designer. Sometimes I think of these two categories as very close, even overlapping, and sometimes they look to me as if there’s an ocean between them.
The Letter Gothic Std typeface tells a similar story. It is very practical, clear, and somewhat looks like a product of computer or some sort of machine. On the other hand, some of its letters show design decisions, such as the sharp capital ‘A’ versus the ‘n’ or ‘y’, or the rounded, almost hand written ‘r’, versus the geometrical ‘l’, that could only be made by a human. These decisions seem so arbitrary that it feels to me that only one who felt the conflicts I feel could have done them.

Typeface manipulation

The following images of typeface manipulation should be self explanatory. I hope they are.


Published by

Dror Ayalon


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