Typography and gratitude. – By @hollygordonn

By Holly Gordon


Typography and gratitude.


At university, I was obsessive about typography. I would spend hours going through everything with a fine tooth-comb, making sure it followed typographic rules. This attention to detail is encouraged in design; the belief a deep understanding of type is one of the foundations of communication and if your typography wasn’t up to scratch, it will let down the rest of your work.


I got in to SCA because I rambled on for 4 minutes about typography and words. I may not remember exactly what I said, but when Marc told me I had to talk about myself, I figured it was the ideal topic. My degree work is mostly typographic design, made with care and understanding of rules that I knew well enough to break.


With D&AD coming up, I think its great we get to learn about these things, but I think it is valid that we stress the importance of it. We are all aware of the power of words and I am lucky enough to be in a room surrounded by writers who can string words into sentences that make me feel every emotion under the sun. However, the powers of correct typography choices and rule following enhances it even more and it is not only the Art Director who needs to know that. Beautifully written copy can move people, but they will only read it when it looks good. Nobody will read your copy if it looks ugly.


A lot of the time we are told how easy certain parts of advertising are. I can’t say I agree on all of it, but I do believe that is easy to learn and apply the typographic rules we are taught. We spend time crafting beautiful written copy, which we care about, so why would we not care to learn how to make it look good?


Initially, I was going to write this scab on gratitude because I’ve been filling in my 6-minute journal as often as I can, but instead of personal things, I am just going to leave you with a list of typographic related (loosely) things I am grateful for.


  • I am grateful for the letterpress room in the basement of LCC where I learnt typography in the traditional form.
  • I am grateful for ligatures. They are both useful and beautiful.
  • I am grateful for Nigel, my tutor who would sit with me and help me craft body copy in the books I wrote.
  • I am grateful for the print team at NUA who taught me everything I know about printing, paper and layout.
  • I am grateful that Ian’s masterclasses allow me to get a refresh on things.
  • I am grateful for D&AD annuals and the specific book design chapters that remind me of what I love doing.
  • I am grateful for InDesign.
  • I am grateful for the John Jarrolds printing press in Norwich and the accessibility it gave to students.
  • I am grateful that talking about typography got me into SCA.
  • I am grateful that out of everyone I asked to check my work, Alysha said that she would.


The copy scores 65.4 in the Flesch Reading Ease test

Related SCABs

Go back

Student Application

  • Fill out the Application Form below to be a part of our next Award-Winning intake.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY