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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Surfaces and Strategies – A Question of Font

Choosing a font for a portfolio is rather like deciding what you should wear.  Get it wrong, and you will be noticed for the wrong reasons.

Clothes say a lot about a person.  Based on what you wear, assumptions are made about your personality, your background and your age etc. For example, you wouldn’t wear a suit to the beach or a rabbit costume to a business meeting (although I did do that once, but that is another story…)

Fonts work in much the same way for a portfolio of images. The font chosen often provides a first impression that people will use to gauge and judge the work on. Making sure the font complements the work is therefore critical.

The choice of font will set the tone for the whole project and will affect how the viewer will interact and interpret the work.  A poor choice will distract from the message and intention of the work.

In considering this, I initially chose the font Arial Rounded MT Bold as I thought it would not be offensive to the viewer.  However, a colleague commented that it was very ‘Janet and John’ and too childish-looking for the project content, so I set about choosing a different font.


Font 1: Arial Rounded MT Bold

My second choice involved looking for available fonts on the internet.  I decided on the font below, called Post Human.  I was attracted to the font by the name initially.  I like the unusualness of the font and it has a bit of a quirky, playful feel to it.  However, I overlooked that the intent behind my current body of work is much more serious and needs a ‘grown up’ font.  This font is too comical / humorous looking and could adversely affect the interpretation of the project.


Font 2: Post Human

Having looked at the available fonts in Microsoft, I opted for another downloaded font called Crimson Roman.  This font (below) is more traditional and classical than the other 2, and to be honest, is not one I would normally use. Most of my work to date has had a quirky edge to it and I never anticipated that at some point my work could be described as classical or traditional in style.  I have come a long way since starting this course.

Font 3 reflects the classic nature of the body of work and will not detract from the content of the portfolio.


Font 3: Crimson Roman

I am usually swept along with all the fun and interesting choices of font, but I have had to learn to not let my personal preferences get in the way.  The font choices 1 and 2 would communicate characteristics that do not match the message of the Only Human project. Had I proceeded with one of these, I could have introduced a visual disconnect for my viewers.  This could and probably would have affected the long term effectiveness of my work.

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