Fonts are every designers dream. We can spend a whole pay check just on different fonts. Fonts for projects, fonts for experimental projects, or simply, fonts because we just have to have THAT special font for our collection.
Recently, I got a gift card to buy fonts…it was a great Christmas present! I was a bit overwhelmed and excited but unsure of what type of fonts I needed and what I could get for my money’s worth. Most fonts come in families. A font family is a group of fonts that are related in thickness, weight, and orientation. Most families come in at least 2 or more than a dozen fonts, such as Helvetica Neue…ah, Helvetica Neue, every designer’s go to font!
So the question is…how do you determine which font or font family to buy? Most of the time it depends on the project and the client’s budget. Most fonts can cost anywhere from $2 to $500(+). Yes…you read that correctly! For example, the font Aaux family ( http://www.t26.com/fonts/6562-Aaux-Next-Complete ) values at $750 which also carries 72 weights. Investing in a font family with multiple weights is very beneficial because you are able to design more freely. In a typical design, the rule of thumb is to use no more than 3-4 fonts. With a font family like Aaux, you can use as many “versions” of this font in the design since it’s considered “one family / font”.
Another big question to ask…which type of font do you want; serif or sans-serif, or something funky like grunge type? For this post, I am simply buying based on want. I love collecting fonts but there is always a font that you wish you had or would really add value to your collection and be great to experiment with on your next design. One of the things that I love about fonts is that you don’t need to just use them for content or titles but actually make them part of your design…use them as shapes or design elements to enhance the composition. Check out this fun tutorial by Isaac Gube in which he hand draws a font face and creates a unique design – http://designinstruct.com/drawing-illustration/how-to-make-abstract-typography-art-with-illustrator/
As I look through fonts, I am really looking for a family that carries at least 3 variations, light, medium and bold. I contemplate; will I be possibly using these fonts for the web or print? Would it be best to just find a font that has 1 family and get as many as my budget allows? There are so many questions that arise in choosing the right font. One has to carefully research what the font will be used for, the history behind it or the era in which that style was used in if it pertains to a special project. Another recommendation is to never shop in one place. Visit a few font sites that sell quality fonts and decide which is best for you. Fonts are an investment. It’s just as valuable as a collection of shoes, baseball cards, sneakers or even cars…well maybe not cars, but you get the idea!