Arts & Entertainment, Design & Style

Send a Message With Typography

David Carson

Lesson time 10:18 min

David shows you how he uses innovative typography to reinforce the message he wants to send. He shares why he believes that every decision about font choice, spacing, color, and layout has the potential to deepen the impression a layout makes.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Choosing a Font • Case Study: Make All the Decisions • Case Study: The Humanness of Hand Lettering • Case Study: Use Color to Reinforce the Message • Case Study: Grids Kill Creativity


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I'm interested in the various ways typography can send a message and can communicate. And some of it's through reading, but not most of it. Most of it is the feeling we get from it. And that really intrigues me. And how can we emotionally affect people through the use of typography? It was, you know, William Burroughs once said that the word is an image, the word is an image. And I think that's how I feel about typography. It's an image. It also happens to spell something. But before that, it's sending a message, in how it's arranged and how it's worked into a design or layout. And that, to me, is an excitingly powerful tool. We have a few things that we can use to help send a message, and I start really, with a font choice. Don't overlook the message behind each font, what you get from that. They all have their own personality, and you have to decide as a designer, which one fits your particular project the best. And it isn't simply carry the information. It'll help you reinforce a message. And that can be well, anything really. Stability, it can be fragile, it can be quaint, it can be loud, you know, without necessarily having to say that. And it's a subtle thing, but it's a huge part of the craft of graphic design. So did you look at the space between the letters? Did you decide maybe it's a little elegant or classier if I open it up a tiny bit, and maybe here I could go to a caps, but that cap doesn't feel right. Maybe I should make a tall condensed one that I can find. So make those decisions. A lot of it is, just don't get lazy. Yeah, it's there, it's readable, it's OK, but that's not where you want to be. That's not where you're going to have the most fun doing it. You're not going to do your best work. So I would look at kind of the obvious categories of fonts. Bold, thick, serif, sans serif. Italic and non italic. The basic category, see if something hits you there or strikes you as feeling right for the message and the other information, whether it's photograph or graphs or whatever you have. And if you have a very unique one, you can only use it usually once or very few times, because then it becomes more about the font and everybody can use it and identify it. So I just stay away from anything that feels too popular, too common, too forgettable. And after that, it just has to feel right to you for that particular project, that particular client. And that's a subjective call, but it's a huge part of your design process. This early work for Armani was at a time when there was a ton of typefaces, which we're kind of seeing again, which is exciting. And I thought, well, you know, rather than grab the newest, coolest, latest font, I'm going to take an old existing font and a new one and combine them, and that will be the look for Armani. And it became there look for that year. So there's two fonts. There's an old one, a new one. Another example of very traditional typeface with the ser...

About the Instructor

From Ray Gun and Transworld Skateboarding magazines to surfboards and potato chip bags, David Carson changed the trajectory of graphic design by never following the rules or sticking to the grid. Now the pioneering designer is sharing his intuitive approach so you can send a message with boundary-breaking work. Explore typography, photography, logo design, and more as you learn how to make an impact and trust your gut.

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David Carson

Pioneering graphic designer David Carson teaches you his intuitive approach to creating work that breaks rules and makes an impact.

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