Austin Signs | What is a Font?


Font (noun) – a complete assortment of type of one style and size.

A word is nothing more than letters arranged to create a meaning.  However, a font distinguishes words, it adds style.  While fonts seem simple and almost common place, a lot of design time goes into them.  Creating a font is similar to creating a logo or brand.

Many of the fonts we use today are relatively recent inventions.  One of the most popular fonts in use today is Helvetica.  Helvetica was created by two Swiss Graphic artists Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffman in 1957.  Their goal was to create a very legible type style that could be used for signage around the world.  This was no easy task.  The lettering needed to be universal and non-language specific.  Helvetica itself is Latin for Switzerland, which is known for its neutrality.  Helvetica has been adapted to work in the following alphabets: Latin, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, Cyrillic, Greek and Chinese.  Today you can find Helvetica at every subway station in New York City and during March Madness as CBS Sports uses it for their broadcasts.

Picking the right font for your sign is very important.  The font needs to represent your logo or brand, but also needs to be legible.  When considering a sign make sure the font you are using can also be used in a sign application.  Very thin fonts or script fonts cannot be used for many applications due to the limited stroke width of the lettering.  If you are concerned about whether your font will work well in a sign, contact your sign consultants.

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