Typography in Advertising

We just had a talk session on the use of typography in advertising the other day in class.

Typography is basically a form of art; a design or an arrangement of text to enhance an idea and create visual impact.

Some say typography is “the clothes that words wear” or “painting with words”. It is also described as “an expressive art in which the emotional content of ideas is reflected in the manipulation of the form”.

When you decide to use typography in your ad, it has to extend the idea in some ways or else your ad is better off without it. Some typography works as a visual pun.

Each font/typeface gives you a certain feeling, so you should use that to your advantage when choosing one.

In class, we looked at some typographers.

My favorite isΒ Alison Carmichael. She does a lot of good free-hand and beautiful pieces.

Another good one is Herb Lubalin.

Here’s an article David R. Brown wrote on him:Β www.aiga.org/content.cfm/medalist-herblubalin

Here are some examples of his work. Notice how he always has a good idea behind every piece of work that helps convey a message or mood.

Other typographers we talked about include Neville Brody (whose work is just design but has no idea/message), David Carson (whose style is mostly deconstruction of typefaces, texts, and grid), and Marian Bantjes (whose work is very delicate and detailed).

Experimental typography have explored ideas and experimented with materials using both 2D and 3D techniques.

“Temporary Type” by Oded Ezer

“Tortured Letters” by Oded Ezer

Then we looked at different examples of how typography is used in advertising and its effects. Here are some examples:

In this ad, the use of typography complements the idea. The target audience is parents, and with this typography, they can really relate to the ad. It will remind them of their kids’ homework. The colors contrast with the dark message the ad intends to send, which highlights the kids’ innocence. Reading this, the parents will be reminded that their kids really do copy everything they do because they view them as their role models. The drops of water signifies tears, which gives you the imagery of parents reading this ad after losing their own kid for this reason.

The typography in this ad makes you feel busy and all crammed up, which helps convey the message and complements the idea. It makes you feel instead of just telling. The use of caps lock gives a sense of urgency which supports the message. The scribbled handwriting in the background also helps with the effect. The whole ad feels heavy and uncomfortable.

This is an example of a bad use of typography in an ad. It gives the ad an oriental feel, which makes it look like an ad for noodles. The big chunk of text, which is all crammed up together, is difficult to read and I personally wouldn’t sit through the whole thing. And if the audience does not read through the text, they will never understand the idea behind the ad. The typography also makes the text look like some add-on information that does not really matter. The original idea is pretty good but the art direction killed the idea completely.

Here are some more examples of typography in advertising:

To view more or for more information, visit:Β http://bestphotoshoptutorials.net/2009/03/19/40-examples-of-beautiful-typography-in-advertising-design/



http://www.fontshop.com/education/ (This website offers a pdf download of their booklet.)



  1. thoi ao trang · March 7, 2011

    I am googling for something else however this captured my attention πŸ™‚

    • oeilsj · March 7, 2011

      Hope it entertained you for a while πŸ˜‰

  2. pauch · March 18, 2011


    • oeilsj · March 18, 2011

      You’re welcome! Glad you found it helpful. πŸ™‚

  3. sandeep singh · March 22, 2012

    Thanks i was really searching for stuff like that since a long time !! Cheers For you Great Contribution To solve my Problem !!

    • oeilsj · March 22, 2012

      Thank you! I’m glad you found it useful. πŸ™‚

  4. Sergio · September 19, 2012

    hey! i’m sergio
    can you give me your explication about the spot Disconnect to connect of DTAC?
    please i need so much 4 a proyect
    greetings from peru!

    please contact me for my facebook or hotmail championship_3@hotmail.com
    P.S: i found your name in a web: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hqflmHKmdw
    i’m sorry if my english is strange πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: Visuals in Advertising | Reviewing - By Sammiya

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