Of Barns and Brands V

There are knots, and then there are knots. There are fonts and there are fonts. Do you notice that when you swap the “k” in knots with the “f” in fonts and move the “n” you have an almost interchangeable word. 

That just about describes the confusing and complexities of text formatting (fonts, etc.) in today’s digital world. Do you remember your typing lessons in Eighth Grade? Well, if you do you date yourself. Pica and Elite. Roman and Italic. That was about all you had to know, and even that did not really deal with fonts as we know them today. Now one must choose from the basic categories of serif and sans serif, and the dozens and dozens of other new categories of letters, paragraphs, kerning, leading and tracking.

Take a look at these bits of barn wood again. Do you see how the knots and grain give distinctive texture and tone to the aging wood. In both cases the wood is unfinished…and beautiful. I like the website design templates of Squarespace because their font and color default settings are distinctive, classy and they age well. Take time to find an eye catching blend of font types (serif and sans serif), and make your website into something distinctive and classy.

We are speaking of branding here, not just barns, so do note this IMPORTANT principle. Branding is like using all the same wood from the same tree in siding your barn. Find the fonts and type settings you think best capture who and what you are, and use them consistently in all that you produce: your website, your emails, your stationary, your advertising and your...barn doors.

When I look at an old (or new) barn I quickly notice the fonts, or knots. These seemingly inconsequential patterns draw me into the whole feeling of the website (I mean, the barn). Cover it over with some generic paint and it just doesn't feel the same. 

(Are you a lover of old red barns? I am, to be sure. We'll look at those next week, not at the knots!) 

Peter Pierson