7 Creative Uses of Typography

Show a unique advertisement to average non-designers, and they might be able to tell you what they like about it: the images, the slogan, the colors. But ask them about the font choice and use, and you’ll likely get a blank stare.

Typography is often an understated part of graphic design – fonts are chosen to make a statement yet blend at the same time. That’s why when typography is front and center, things get exciting – now ads, art and other mediums pop with big, bold words or small, swirly phrases. Perhaps some of the following unique examples sought out alternative methods of typography inspiration.

1. Creative Video

Watch the video

I was inspired to write this post after watching the new video by Cee Lo, “F**k You.” While plenty of videos are NSFW, you can’t watch this one in the workplace even with headphones, since the profanity-strewn song is literally spelled out across the screen. The sans serif font bouncing around, though, lends the video a sense of lightness, making it more of a party song than an abrasive one. I’m diggin’ it.

Note: to see the video you will need to verify that your are over 18.

2. Creative Map

Creative typography

If I lived in San Francisco, I’d own this poster for sure. It breaks down the many neighborhoods that make up the diverse city into their nicknames, such as the Castro, Twin Peaks and the Mission District. The sans serif font makes it easy to read – it’s attractive AND informative!

3. Creative T-shirt

Creative typography

The T-shirt company Threadless has a lot of shirts with double entendres – the “Forget Me Knot” tee being one of them.

4. Creative Poster

Creative typography

In another life, I was a bicycling aficionado. But in this one, I know there are two wheels and handlebars – and that’s pretty much it. So this piece spells it all out quite handily, with bicycle terminology replacing the parts. I never knew that the part holding the front wheel is called a fork, and I recognized the term “crank” but had no clue what it is. Now I do.

5. Ceative Sculpture

Creative typography

For years I’ve passed this sculpture on the border of Oakland and Berkeley, and it’s piqued my curiosity. I had a feeling it was inspired by Gertrude Stein’s famous quote, “There’s no there there,” since the writer spent part of her childhood in Oakland. Sure enough, among other artworks strewn around Oakland that reference Stein’s quote, the sculpture HERETHERE is one of them, according to Wikipedia.

6. Creative Ad

Creative typography

If the point of The Prevention Plan’s campaign is to get Americans to opt in to Cobra plans when they leave their jobs, then this ad is effective. If not, then I don’t know what is being conveyed. But it looks good.

Creative Movie

Watch the video

Finally, one of the best opening title sequences I’ve seen for a movie is the one for “Catch Me if You Can,” the 2002 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. It’s jaunty and retro – quite like the film itself.

Jennifer Moline writes about freelancing, small business and design for the PsPrint Blog. PsPrint is an online printing solutions company, which you can follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Our 350-001 tutorial explains how to draw basic lines and shapes. Learn how to make creative web designs using N10-004 guide and HH0-120 tutorial.

Mars Cureg

Web designer by profession, photography hobbyist, T-shirt lover, design blog founder, gamer. Socially and physically awkward, lack of social skills, struggles to communicate with anyone who doesn't have a keyboard. Willing to walk to get to the promised land. Photo and video freelancer, SEO. Check out more on my Google+

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  • very inspired of creativity in typography, thanks for share…

    • glad you liked it

  • lono

    love the map!

    • mine is the snake shape

  • jackie

    Good Stuff! Thanks for sharing.

  • Brett Widmann

    I love typography. I’m hoping to expand my skills in that area. Thanks for the design examples.