Floundering in fonts

How do graphic designers do it?

I’m working on a new logo, for personal rather than business use. Or rather, Zoë Shuttleworth of Rude Goose is working on it, and I’m no doubt driving her round the bend with my contradictory input.

This probably sounds like a vanity project but there’s a motivational reason behind it. I badly need to get my papers sorted out in a clear, rational manner: separating the business from the personal from the household files. I’m a great believer in the power of a good logo. So, my thinking is, if I’ve got a gorgeous logo on my file boxes, I’ll be more inclined to actually file stuff away in them. I can but hope…

Anyway, I’ve been looking at typography websites this afternoon and I just don’t know how designers ever make a choice. There are so many gorgeous fonts out there — I could spend my whole day looking at them.

How do you do it, designers? Have you got a mental categorisation method? Favourite sites? I’d love to know!

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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  1. I used to do freelance work for a mega multinational – they had ‘slugged’ Powerpoint or Lotus notes or whatever to offer only 4 fonts, otherwise they found that their highly paid staff were wasting time pratting about with a million horrible fonts . .

    1. I remember when they first introduced Windows to the British Embassy in Rome. I hate to think how many people-hours of work were wasted creating evermore elaborate screensavers. Management eventually put their feet down and ordered us all to use the Foreign and Commonwealth Office logo. Dull days.

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