A typeface is like a chair
- A page is like a room, type is like furniture, and a typeface is like a chair.
- Chairs and typefaces are designed to fulfill a purpose.
- The user knows immediately when they aren’t right for the purpose, though they may not be able to explain why.
- Furniture design and typeface design are crafts.
- Both crafts require good taste.
- Both crafts require technical proficiency.
- For most purposes, both crafts require restraint.
- A chair or typeface can be decorative to varying degrees but must be functional.
- The best chairs and typefaces have an appropriate balance of form and function.
- Very small changes in proportion make a big difference.
- You can misuse a chair and you can misuse a typeface.
- Context matters: a lounge chair doesn’t work at a dining table, Papyrus doesn’t work in a business letter.
- Audience matters: a chair must hold the weight and size of the sitter, a typeface must hold the attention of the reader.
- Everyone needs them every day.
- There isn’t a perfect one.