Help me search for specific typographic examples.
November 19, 2012 2:15 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for examples of typography that reflects or contrasts the meaning of the word(s) it is being applied to. For example, the word 'power' being set in authoritative/powerful typeface. Is there a name for this use of typography?
posted by nanook to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'd just call that typography—or one aspect of it, anyway. But someone, somewhere might have actually given that usage a name.

Here is a website that gives a few examples of this: when-typography-speaks-louder-than-words
posted by Eicats at 2:26 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not sure of the term (typographic dissonance, maybe, when it contrasts?) but this could be an example.
posted by paperback version at 2:27 PM on November 19, 2012

“I don't think that type should be expressive at all. I can write the word 'dog' with any typeface and it doesn't have to look like a dog. But there are people that [think that] when they write 'dog' it should bark.”

― Massimo Vignelli

Thanks to this quote I always think of such text as "barking," but I'm probably the only person in the world who does.
posted by Juliet Banana at 2:45 PM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have called it onomatopoeia, which is the term used for words that sound like their definition ("fizzle", "boom"). A quick google search shows that some people use this term in typography as well, and while it doesn't seem to be particularly popular it does give a bunch of examples.

Kinetic typography refers to videos, but they have lots and lots of examples of what you're looking for.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 2:51 PM on November 19, 2012

posted by coevals at 2:59 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding kinetic typography as being full of examples.

The other thing that came to mind is this t-shirt, which has sold for more than a decade, apparently based off of one of their pictures.
posted by dephlogisticated at 5:33 PM on November 19, 2012

Here's a bunch of examples that are pretty popular on pinterest.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 9:30 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've seen "mimetic typography" and "semantic typography" used to describe this.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:58 PM on November 19, 2012

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