Week 3: What’s Your Type? (RTA 103)

Well I mean, I’m looking for someone who’s sweet, sincere, likes my pixel ar- oh wait, we’re talking fonts here…

Since we’re observing typography, I think it’s fair that I give you a little glossary.

Leading: space between lines

Tracking: uniform space between letters of a word

Kerning: the space between two specific letters in a word

Alright! Let’s get started with one of my favorites then.  This title screen is from Disney XD’s Alex Hirsch’s show Gravity Falls!


Of course, we are introduced with the classic Disney font. This time, it appears a little worn for that cozy, aged look. It’s placed above the title so that the audience can see it first and acknowledge this great company for taking part in this. Aside from that, there’s not much to say here, let’s carry on.

The leading is a little tight between the words “gravity “and “falls” which creates suspense right off the get go. Tracking between the letters are also tight which also help build on this tension. Its font is very reminiscent of those post cards you would see in souvenir shops. Even inside the earthy-toned and orange letters, there are pictures of trees, the mountain and the sky which paint the scenery of a charming little town.

GRAVITY FALLS” is followed by the words “CREATED BY” in close proximity or leading in order to pull some of the attention to the creator. The tracking is a bit more spacious to further emphasize where the real action is with the calm feeling it gives off. Its rounded and thin font allows the viewer to focus on what is over and below it.

“Alex Hirsch” has a leading that is close to the title just a way to show the close relations between the two. It’s much more bold than the line previous to his name. The font is shown to be a little worn out which gives off the impression that the town is aged.

Overall, each component- especially the title helps create that campy yet mysterious setting that is Gravity Falls! It’s a little suspicious alright, but how about we look at something a little darker and gothic? Let’s examine the title screen of Jiwook Kim’s animated short Blackford Manor released on the YouTube channel Cartoon Hangover.

Blackford Manor Title Screen.jpg

Cartoon Hangover Presents itself right at the beginning with its fairly spacious tracking and it’s loose leading with the short’s title. This distances itself from the work a bit and allows Jiwook Kim to stand in the spotlight a bit with the tighter leading with the title. The font of this (which is the same for the creator’s name) is very intriguing. It gives off a sort of western vibe to this title screen. Although it implies that the story takes place in the past, I’m not quite sure it completely fits the aesthetic of the show. It’s also both a good and a bad thing how it blends into the scenery, it can be difficult to read.

On the other hand, the font for “Blackford Manor” fits quite nicely with the tone of this short and complements the art style. The fact that it’s fancy, bold and black makes it a perfect match for a show that takes place in a creepy spacious manor. That alone allows the viewer to feel the atmosphere throughout the short films and I say that it’s a success!

Well enough kid-friendly heebie jeebies, why don’t look into something more mature and lavish? Yes? This is the title screen for Warner Bros.’ 2013 release of the movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby!


Can I just ask how gorgeous this is? The use of the atlas and atlas solid font matches the design of the background perfectly! I noticed that the kerning between the A and the T as well as the S and the B in Gatsby is a little wider than the kerning elsewhere, but that is likely for the sake of keeping the title centered. There is a little leading between “The” and “Great” which are both in a much smaller font. This is done so that the name is the absolute showstopper of this title.

I even love the details with it’s colour. For those of you who don’t know, Fitzgerald associated specific meanings in his book (eg. gold represents money). To complement the gold detailing in the background, the typography of the title is coloured silver. In addition to providing more contrast in the design, it adds more meaning. Silver, although meaning wealth, also can be seen as a form of grey- an absence of blue (which is symbolized here as God). The silver letters show both the incorporation of wealth and moral ambiguity of the characters within the story. With this detail in mind, I really enjoy this title card!

Amazing how typography can add so much depth into something, eh? Well prior to this, I’ve only dabbled a little in calligraphy. I’ve just started to pay more attention to typography and I must say, I think it’s paying off. I feel that as my knowledge expands in the world of typography, I will be able to see what is effective (and why) to hopefully implement that in my own work now that I know exactly what makes things more intense or easygoing. Care to join?



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