Colored Fonts Hit The Mainstream Font Repos (Like a Digital Virus)
What Are Colored Fonts? Well, This is How MyFonts.com Puts it:
“You can think of color fonts like, say, emojis: these fonts come with preset color schemes, so when a user typesets with them, some colors appear incorporated in them, determined by the font’s designer. Altering the colors is possible, but with some limitations. Some popular programs, like the latest Adobe Illustrator, allow for the user to make easy color changes to artwork, but the fonts must be converted to outlines first.”
What Do I Think Colored Fonts Are?
A mess waiting to happen. Any professional designer is going to use a Pantone color to match a client’s colors from some sort of style guide. I can see this creating all kinds of problems when inexperienced designers use these fonts and create separation and color matching nightmares for professional production artist who are trying to convert their fonts into functioning printable files.
I’m not entirely sure about the need for these at all, but MyFonts.com interviewed a font designer who seemed to think that it was a burden for a graphic designer to have to look at a bare black and white font while trying to come up with colors and logo designs. This is what they said:
“Graphic designers color fonts all the time, especially in display situations like logos or headlines, ads and packaging. Traditionally fonts came bare, without color at all, which puts the onus on the user’s imagination, training and color sense to produce the best results as far as color is concerned. The idea with color fonts is to make things simpler for the user by providing a cue, a point of inspiration, or a way to focus the imagination.”
Do Designers Need Colored Fonts?
In my opinion, graphic designers are pretty great at coming up with inspiration all on their own. That’s kind of their job and what they do well. My fear is that some clients with loose reins on their employees will start using these fonts on their social media, internal stationary, and signage because of the way they look. The perceived ease of use may eventually become an agency nightmare to fix, as they find themselves off brand down the road.
Tech or Trash?
Colored fonts are new, and I think this is something to keep an eye on. It’s too early to call this any sort of emerging technology for professional designers, especially with the fragility of brand integrity- but time will tell if these are a fad or are actually valuable.
Currently there are mainstream version of Trajon, Times and some others that are colored with effects that are available for Mac and Windows. As an added minefield, some of the fonts available on dafont, typekit and myfonts include colored version too. So be mindful and make sure your clients have a font, logo and color style guide at all times.
Here are some places you can find these magical colored fonts: