Let’s take a look at typefaces and the role they play in design. We’ll use this NASA advertisement as an example.

NASA used two different fonts to add contrast and interest to their design.



The first typeface would probably fall under the San Serif category. It is characterized by it’s tall, narrow and very straight letters as you can see where it says “Launch America”. The tall vertical letters are what make it look modern. The font does not have any serfis or brackets and there is no stress because there is no thick to thin transition.




The second typeface is oldstyle which is seen in almost all of the other words. It is easy to see that there is a Diagonal stress from thick to thin, and that it contains pronounced diagonal serifs. The words seem to be at a slant and are very different from the first typeface.




Now it’s easy to see that these two typefaces are very different. The words “Launch America” are straight without thick to thin stresses and have no serifs or brackets. The other words however have an old style and are slanted with a diagonal sress from thick to thin. Unlike the san serif letters, they are full of diagonal serifs. There is a huge difference between the two typefaces.



If you’re going to use more than one typeface, it is so important to use contrasting ones. Because these two typefaces are SO different they don’t conflict. Actually, their differences are complementary and add interest. Hey, I guess they always say that opposites attract right? So moral of the story is, when it comes to contrast, go big or go home! Be brave and do something different!


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