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The language of fonts

Selecting the right typeface for a particular project can sometimes appear nigh on impossible. With more fonts available more readily than at any other time in history, it's easy to become overwhelmed and throw variations at the project until one sticks.

That approach, in fact, can sometimes work well, but it's time-consuming and costly. Therefore, understanding the subtle messages certain fonts convey is vital. For some, it's obvious: the associations that classic fonts such as Courier and Gill Sans conjure up, for example, are amazingly strong.

But every font has a subtle effect on the viewer and, while recognising these becomes easier with experience, it's always useful to look at real-world case studies. Veteran designer Andrew Altmann of Why Not Associates explains some of the reasoning behind the agency's choice of fonts.

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