Typography, The Building Block of the Printed Page – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

I found this advertisement for Whoppers candy on Google.com. It is a 1970s advertisement. I was not able to find it’s original designer or source.  It was originally published by the Leaf candy company. I also found it featured on a website, www.collectingcandy.com created by Nancie Rowe Janitz Designs.

While nostalgia plays a roll in the appeal of this advertisement, I feel the contrast in typography also grabs the attention of the viewer.

The first typeface I would like to feature is a Sans Serif font. It is a monoweight font which means that there are no thick/thin transitions in the strokes and the letters are the same thickness all around. There are no serifs on any of the letters. It is easy to read and is used to inform us what product they want us to know about (actually they want us to buy it). In this advertisement they use this font to identify the product and give information about the company who produces the product.

The second typeface on this advertisement was a Script font. It appears to be excellent penmanship. In the 1970s children still learned to write cursive and penmanship was an actual grade on our report cards. Their use of this tidy cursive penmanship depicts reliability and care in creating the product for us. Obviously, someone with good penmanship is reliable and you can trust what they are telling you. The following information is trying to convince us to purchase this product. “Everybody stops to shop America’s fastest selling malted milk balls!” It also includes the word “original”, thereby informing you that these are not the cheap knockoff version. This script typeface is used to give us confidence in this product.

Robin Williams, the author of the book “The Non-Designers’s Design Book”, tells us that script fonts should be used sparingly. In this advertisement, they do use it for quite a bit of the information, but they break it up with the use of the sans serif font so you are not getting a large dose of the script for a long stint of reading.

The the elements that create contrast in these two fonts include color, weight, size, structure, and form. They use two different colors which creates contrast. The weight of the sans serif typeface is much bolder than the script. They were not wimpy when they used it. The size difference is also obvious in the two different fonts. The structure of the sans serif is very monoweight with no weight shifts in the strokes. There are gaps between each letter. It is rather like putting blocks together to create words. The script has different size letters and flows together with each letter connecting to the next. On both styles of typeface, the form of the capital letters is different than the lowercase, however, the script typeface has completely different forms than the sans serif do. All of these differences create contrast in the typography of this advertisement.

While the graphics on this page really sell the product (who doesn’t remember Whoppers, or in my case, malt balls from their childhood), the typography really sends a message about the value and enjoyment of this candy.  The name in bold sans serif typeface sells you about the durability and the long-lasting pleasure you will gain from this product. The tidy script convinces you that this company takes pride in the quality of their product. These two fonts are a good combination that provide contrast in the advertisement, while unifying the information they are imparting.  Each font has both visual and emotional appeal and they are used in a design that makes them easy for the consumer to read and remember.




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