A Font Experiment

This post was drafted in Times New Roman, 12 point font. It’s pretty much the industry standard/requirement for writers. I understand the need for ease of reading and a sense of conformity, but I wanted to conduct a little experiment of my own regarding fonts for other uses.

Fonts are very powerful images, like the ones used for television and movie title images. They need to grab the viewer and keep them watching. I thought it would be fun to look at a few of my favorites and see if a visual thread emerged as a result of my choices.
Outlander first aired in 2014 and is entering its fourth season. I watched the introduction to the first episode and was hooked before the episode itself began. Yes, I loved the music and images on the screen, but then I saw the title and fell in love with the font. Who does that? Me, I guess! It makes perfect sense – I’m a writer and a visual person. So, I did a bit of research and found that the font is Charlemagne Regular, a roman serif design by Carol Twombly. During the reign of the Emperor Charlemagne in the eighth and ninth centuries, the use of classical roman letterforms was revived. These letterforms were the basis of the highly refined versal capitals of late tenth-century England, which were the inspiration for Carol Twombly’s 1989 Adobe Originals typeface. The font is not free and must be purchased. So, for a price, you can write in the Outlander font!

Another great series that came out in 2015 was Poldark, now airing its fourth season. I could watch the introduction to this series over and over. The images and music are majestic and sweeping, and then the name Poldark sets itself against a vast ocean and gathering storm clouds. The fonts used for the title of the TV series are Cinzel Regular and Cinzel Decorative Regular (for the swash K). Both were designed by Natanael Gama and can be downloaded for free. There you go!

I wanted to look at two of my favorite movies to compare the title fonts and see if there was a visual pattern or style I was drawn to. Out of Africa aired in 1985 and used Friz Quadrata as its title theme font. I began to see some similarities.
The last example I’ll share is Last of the Mohicans, which aired in 1992. The font used for the movie title in the poster is probably Schneidler Initials designed by F.H. Ernst Schneidler. The font is a commercial one, so I suppose there is a fee to use it. In addition to The Last of the Mohicans, Schneidler Initials typeface is also used in the logos, movie posters or album covers, including Life is Beautiful, The Duchess, and Tears of the Sun.


I was amazed when I put these visual images together and studied them. They titles have strong, bold letters with a bit of romance/softness added in. They are different fonts, but have characteristics that draw me in and make me want to invest in the story that’s about to be told.

I’m sure there is a lot of research that goes into choosing a title font that will encapsulate a story and capture the attention of the viewer in a subliminal way. You may not be interested in the font names or who created them, but you may find it fascinating to pull up the titles of your favorite shows/movies and see if they have a visual connection that pulls you in.


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