Have you ever misinterpreted something that should have been completely obvious? Earlier today I was out for a meal with my friend Mike. When it comes to typography Mike, the graphic designer, is always one to take notice of the finer details. Graphic designers have a unique perspective when it comes to anything involving design. After quickly taking notice of something unusual, Mike asked me to read an ad from the placemat in front of me. It was a great lesson in the art of typography.
"With great power there must also come great responsibility" said Uncle Ben to Peter Parker. The analogy can be used for how type is displayed. Anyone can completely change the meaning or feel of a group of words just by using a different type of placement, font, or style.
Upon first glance the ad reads “Happy Jails Pet Grooming.” Somehow I can’t imagine many people enthused to take their beloved pet to “Happy Jails Pet Grooming.” This is a classic example of how something as simple as a font can change people’s visual interpretation of advertising. Because of the font used a many people read “Tail” as “Jail.” To make sure the misinterpretation wasn’t a fluke I tested the ad with a few other friends later in the evening. They also read the ad as “Happy Jails Pet Grooming.”
The More Eyes the Merrier
If you’re going to run advertising online or offline always get someone else to double check your work. There are numerous times when a designer or a company interprets their work one way and the public interprets something completely different. This mentality has lead to more than a few failed advertising campaigns over the years. Always test your advertising with the public before going public. A few people can quickly identify something that isn’t obvious to you or your company. Use their feedback to make any necessary corrections. When it comes to advertising and marketing, get out of your ego and into the customer’s ego.
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