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Just My Type: The Vision Thing

Posted by Arlen Vernava on January 10, 2012

Just My Type, a wonderfully inventive jaunt through the history and current use of fonts, really understands the vision thing, and I mean that both literally and figuratively.  Fonts are everywhere.  Write a vision statement:  font.  Express a vision statement in such a way that passer-byes look twice, stop and say, "I want some of that": a font that works really well. A vision statement that goes viral?  A font by only one name:  the vision statement!

Vision statements, sadly, are often forgettable and uninspiring.  They are no ones type and everyones type, like fortune cookie sayings they prompt a chuckle or a groan, and fit neatly into any organization or church community.  Why is this so?  Every congregational leader knows that the community of faith they attend has a uniqueness.  Something about the spirit of the place, hard to define yet crystal clear, differentiaties it from every other faith community.  Yes, everyone uses letters, so to speak, but no two places combine or create the same exact fonts.  Indeed no one letter or two ampersands, Simon Garfield informs us, look exactly alike.  Janet Maslin in The New York Times writes:

"A T-shirt that is depicted in...“Just My Type: A Book About Fonts” is adorned with nothing but the ornate ampersand of the font Caslon. This graphic, Mr. Garfield remarks, is capable of “occasionally eliciting a nod from another aficionado, like smug fans of a cool pop band before it becomes famous.”


The knowing nod has everything to do, in the first place, with a Caslon ampersand, and secondly, with fonts.  Vision statements are meant to say the true and extraordinary story about one type of place:  not in too many words but by expressing the sense of spirit. Caslon, not Verdana.  Comic Sans, not Baskerville Old Face.  

What's your type, friend?  Claim or create your font and others will say:  Wow, you are just my type!


-Arlen G. Vernava

arlen vernava, design group international 




Topics: faith-based community