Fonts of potential: Areas for typographic research in political communication

Thomas J. Billard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


As the prevalence of digital technologies has increased, so too has the prevalence of graphically designed content. In particular, typography has emerged as an increasingly important tool for visual communication. In recent years, political actors have seized upon the expressive potential of typography to communicate their messages, to support their campaign efforts, and to establish viable brand identities. However, researchers have been slow to address the new role typography plays in the processes of political communication. Therefore, this article both synthesizes and proposes key areas for research on typography in political communication. Drawing on extant literature across the fields of design, communication, and political science, this article identifies the ways in which typography contributes to the communicative and organizational aims of political actors, demonstrates these contributions with examples from recent political campaigns, and concludes by pointing toward unanswered questions for future studies to address.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4570-4592
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Branding
  • Campaigns
  • Graphic design
  • Political communication
  • Typography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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