Happy? Sad? Serious? There's a font for every feeling.

Inspired by a friend who recently had her aura read (it was some shade of blue), I wondered what font one's aura – or mood (I'm not sure I've got the time or cosmic energy to define "aura" in the context of typeface) – would be. But being the multi-faceted humans we are, our moods shift about as frequently as I imagine an aura reader's aura-reading explanations do. In other words, quite often.

Thanks to frequent texting and typing, we've employed emoticons to help us visually depict our feelings, like:

  • Happy :)
  • Sad :(
  • Winky/creepy ;)

And, if you're familiar with Microsoft Communicator, there are other gems like pizza slice, martini glass and wilting rose. Much in the way those last three examples allow for a little creative interpretation – perhaps hungry, "thirsty" or lovelorn – fonts allow us to showcase an emotional perspective.

Fonts as emotional indicators intrigue me, so I thought I'd try my hand (get that?) at something I'm going to call Emotional Font Mapping, or EFM. (By the way, this is jargon.) Here are some of my own emotional fonts that I've mapped out:

Fonts for feelings

  • When I'm feeling classy and understated, my emotional font is Brandon Grotesque.
    • Here's why: Brandon G. is about as classy as they come, and understated, as I've mentioned. It's clean and simple without being boring or too Helvetica-ish, aka Helveticish. Sorry, I said it.
  • When I'm feeling the opposite of classy and understated, my emotional font is Runcible.
    • Here's why: It's bold and in your face. It's round and irregularly shaped. There's not a serif in sight to keep you on track. Basically it's a bit of a nonsense font. But it's exactly how I feel when I'm running amuck.
  • When I'm feeling quite serious and official and perhaps am on the verge of calling you sir or madam, my emotional font is FF Scala Condensed.
    • Here's why: To whom it may concern: FF Scala is the most regal with its spare serifs and perfect ampersand. It has a balanced elegance that feels both contemporary and old world. As you can imagine, FF Scala is most certainly the font found in noble dukes' thought bubbles.
  • When I'm feeling a sense of déjà vu while sorting through all my Facebook friends' wedding photos, my emotional font is Young Baroque.
    • Here's why: It's a pretty ornate copperplate script. So ornate, you may have trouble deciphering the uppercase K. (Seriously, take a look at the uppercase K.) But as we all know, readability is not one's main concern when choosing a wedding invitation font. Excessive looping, however, is.
  • When I'm feeling overwhelmed by a pile of take-out menus, my emotional font is Wingdings. Obviously.
    • Here's why: There can be a lot of content on a take-out menu. There can also be a lot of take-out menus in your take-out menu drawer. And naturally, some of it is Greek to me. This option overload is reminiscent of a font that's actually the weirdest collection of glyphs and graphics you'll ever find.

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