On Fonts

One of the things I love most about poetry is the amount of detail that goes into the process, and that every aspect of the presentation, down to the font style can be used in some way. In our poetry class, I like to notice the variations of fonts we use for workshops and I always wonder if there’s a reason behind the selection. I have the tendency to use Cormorant Garamond a lot. For one, I like the aesthetic and two, I feel that the font presents words in a softer tone similar to a stream of thoughts which works with my writing style. In fiction, I wrote my first first-person narrative in this font for similar reasons. If I was to use a different font I feel as though the reading of my work could alter in some way.

As a fiction writer, there are normally two types of fonts we use for workshops; Times New Roman and when we are struggling with story length, Courier (I speak out of experience). It was only through multiple re-edits would I think about the font and if it could be changed to improve the story’s reading.

What I would like to know is if it’s a bad thing to utilize fonts to aid tone. I can see how a person could argue that we should focus more on establishing tone through words alone. It could force more practice on writers to not rely on a visual experience for a perceived tone which ultimately, can make us more precise in our syntax. However, if poetry is an art form then shouldn’t we take advantage of every tool at our disposal?

If anyone has an opinion I would love to hear thoughts on this! (also not going to lie, I was tempted to write this in comic sans)

One Reply to “On Fonts”

  1. Fonts are crazy to think about–I agree. I view fonts as a lipstick color, like the way that words look coming out of my mouth can mirror the way that a font looks spelling out syllables. Red is strong, sassy, confident. Pink is more feminine, youthful. Nude is simple, versatile. Fonts can mean so many things–so intricate.

    I personally use Garamond, or Times New Roman. I feel like that has been programmed into me… They are aesthetically appealing, and do work well with tone, I agree.

    Thinking back to Emma’s poem, ’88’, about the piano, I LOVED how she used font and the smearing on the page. Whether intentional or not, it conveyed such a ‘vintage, script, sheet music’ vibe which was great. I wish to harness this control over my piece one day.

    P.S. I saw a sticker one time that said “I’ll use Comic Sans the day Helvetica freezes over” and I had such an English nerd LOL moment. It was great.

    Jules

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