(Provision) Type Style Finder
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A quality of artiﬁciality can stem from anything at all that refutes a sense
of the natural. In typefaces, this can mean proportions between the distribu-
tion of stroke weights being reversed; odd proportions between counters
or exaggerated changes in body width among letters; dramatically geometric,
angular, or abrupt junctures between strokes; or decorative inclusions that
allude to mechanical or manmade parts. Because the historical derivation
of such proportions creates an expectation of “naturalness,” typefaces whose
construction is purposely off will feel unnatural or contrived. Extremes
of proportion, or stroke structure that pushes the limits of recognizability,
may also seem artiﬁcial. Some typefaces that exhibit illustrative details,
such as highlights or outlines, will seem unnatural or made from a synthetic
material, such as plastic. Conversely, very neutral typefaces—lacking in
modulation or detail—may seem lifeless and therefore artiﬁcial.
Machines, synthetic materials, gadgets, technology: these are some of
the manifestations of “artificial,” anything that doesn’t occur in nature.
Artificial things sometimes lack vitality, appearing dead or static; but
overly contrived forms—ones that clearly show evidence of being man-
made—also appear fake. Artificial can be fun, but it can run the risk of
appearing un-genuine or false.
top, and detail, bottom
Chris Pelling, design and