The persona of a typeface
Choosing the typefaces for a website is important because different typefaces have different personas (Brumberger, 2003a). The persona of a typeface refers to how it is perceived by the reader. For example some typefaces are perceived to be stern where as others are friendly (Brumberger, 2003a) . The shape and weight of a typeface are two of the factors that contribute to its persona (Brumberger, 2003a). The content of a text also has a tone or a persona, and it is important that a typeface appropriately matches the tone of the text. Brumberger’s study, “The rhetoric of typography: The awareness and impact of typeface appropriateness” found that readers indicated it was appropriate to use a typeface with a persona that matched the tone of the text. For example he found “the ‘friendly’ typeface was perceived to be more appropriate for the ‘friendly’ text than for other texts” (2003b, p. 227). If a designer does not match the typeface’s tone with the text’s tone, the reader is aware of the dissonance between the two (Brumberger, 2003b). It should be noted that in Brumberger’s study there were some typefaces that readers felt were all-purpose, and could be used for a wide array of documents (2003b). As a general rule, however, the designer should consider the tone of the content and choose a typeface with a persona that matches.
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