Typography Makes That Vital Difference…

We were recently trying to demonstrate to an acquaintance of ours (a bit of a philistine in some ways, but with other redeeming features) just how much difference carefully chosen typefaces and typography can make to a design.

To that end we set up an experiment, perhaps not quite as much along scientific lines as it could have been, but interesting nonetheless.  We devised a hypothetical magazine cover “Railway Review, June 1939 issue” and prepared six alternate cover designs for it, using different typeface families, in order to how him different effects that could be created.  We know we did vary some other elements of the design, but the results are interesting none the less.


The first design relies on the industrial qualities of our Goldbarre family as a foil for the streamline era elegance of the Coronation Scot illustrated on the cover.  Detail text is also supplied by our Magdalene Sans.  Quite effective we think.


For the second design we took something a little softer, using our gently rounded Cherritt family.  We feel there’s a definite late 30’s feel to the masthead done this way and the Cherritt family is able to supply all the needs of this design.


There’s something quietly emphatic about our new Blout family, though we do think this layout gives a more modern feel…not sure whether that’s a positive or not.  Again , detele text is provided by Magdalene Sans.  Blout is interesting in managing to be bot relatively condensed and emphatic at the same time.  It has enough Blackletter elements aboutit to make us very wary of setting it all in capitals though.


The Admiral typeface familiy goes the other way backdating the overall look, and perhaps suggesting an almost 20’s design, which must be still soldiering on in the 30s given the  streamlined express train passing beneath it.  The elaborate ‘#’ has now trouble standing out against the busy background of the illustration.CS_Blue5

Stannard brings all the spirit of the old Mecanno magazine masthead, or perhaps an old trainset box lid,  to our cover design.  All of the typographic elements here use members of the Stannard family.CS_Blue6

Finally, our ever popular Birmingham New Street, coupled with a touch of Merrivale, offer their period character to a design that is almost contradictory-a modern layout with vintage style typography.  We almost feel this on suggests a 1970s design trying for a pre-war revival effect.  Birmingham New Street has a lot of possibilities though, something we might explore later.

We hope you enjoyed this excursion into the world of the hypothetical … more to follow later, perhaps.


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