Expressive Typography

What is expressive typography? It’s something I’d seen before, but I never realized it until I began the latest project for my design class. Expressive typography – as I understand it – is treating text like an illustration. The text becomes the focus of the piece, and often, any illustrative qualities are related to the meaning of the word or words.


Left: For example, rather than making the text look parched, famous designer Chip Kidd created a “visual oxymoron” in his design for the cover of Dry. The result is pleasant and surprising, but if he’d chosen to make the text look like an arid desert, it would still be expressive typography!

Below: For my assignment I chose to create a cover for The Castle by Kafka. This piece is a 5.5 x 8.5 inch gouache painting on bristol.