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is good typography invisible? if it is how should typography grab the reader's attention?

Everyone knows typography is one of the designer's core tools. The designer uses type to communicate appropriately, to suggest a mood and a character and to contribute to page and layout dynamics, for both printed and screen based formats such as a tablet or smart phone. its obvious, understanding the rules and key facts of typographic detailing will create better communication with the read/viewer.

I am trying to find examples that explore this through the application of different formats (print or digital), layout, hierarchy and color ways and how the correct use of typographic detailing, aids communication and readability.

I would greatly appreciate your opinions here and would also like to discuss and know why you think that your example is successful.

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  • Nov 4 2013: It ought to be as invisible as possible. Otherwise, it reminds you of the medium--it throws you out of the experience, and helpfully draws attention to the fact that you're reading something as opposed to focusing on the content of what you're reading. In anything plot driven, it hurts willing suspense of disbelief.

    That's not to say its without use, but it needs to be used sparingly, and subtly.
    Its like the footsteps in movies or the plumbing in your house--there's a reason its there, but if it draws your attention, its because something's gone wrong.
  • Nov 8 2013: Bad typography drove Donald Knuth to develop TEX and metafonts. He was writing I believe the 3rd volume of the Art of Computer Programming. I think it is still important and is needed to present the text in a manner to make the thought or idea correctly.
  • Nov 8 2013: Typography is a unique design challenge. Unlike other design elements such as layout, colour, contrast, shape, texture, balance, etc. etc.. Typography is a series of symbols that represents a specific writing system. The ligatures must first and foremost adhere to semantics.

    Good typography depends on the context of the application. Undoubtedly designing body copy and designing display type require distinctly different approaches.

    In addition the hierarchy of information must flow from available font attributes (Title, subtitle, body copy, pulled quotes, credits etc. etc.). It must organize the content and still maintain a cohesive aesthetic. Over use of fonts and excessive or redundant font attributes is the number one sign a piece wasn't designed by a professional. The second indication is the inability to balance type with other design elements.

    I think professional designers need to pay more attention to kerning. Auto-kerning is simply a best guess. Quality typography needs to be finessed. It amazes me when I see rivers of white trickling down the page of a publication. Page layout programs may have eradicated widows and orphans, but they don't make logical or aesthetically pleasing line breaks. It takes the eye of a trained designer to coax the nuance of good design from restrictive protocol.

    [Fortunately scaleable fonts have resolved many design issues when designing for multiple digital devices.]
  • Nov 6 2013: Best typography has to be invisible. People should just enjoy reading the stuff. That's good typography.