Evocative Typography

The use of typefaces to create a mood or feeling by their appearance alone. For instance, the typeface Manhattan evokes a feeling of the 1920s; the typeface Caslon Antique is used to create a feeling of colonial America.

Evocative typography is most often used in display or headline type. Display has been defined since hot-metal days as any size over 14-point, and faces were specifically designed for display use. Today, electronic sizing makes it possible for any typeface to be used as display.

Optical spacing becomes more critical in larger sizes, and one must review the typeset word or line for consistency of spacing. Because of this, ligatures are not usually set in display, although swash and alternate characters are.

Novelty typefaces are also used for display or evocative purposes. Typefaces formed with flowers, bullet holes, rope, people, or other elements are rarely used. With literally thousands of display faces, fewer than 100 are used very often.

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