Typography Top Tips

Struggling to master your typography? Well, this blog has you covered, we have included that much information that we’re uploading in two parts! Here are some tips on how to ensure effective type is used in projects.  

Always match the mood to the message. A lot of designers have a favourite. But is this getting the most out of fonts? Every typeface has its own personality or mood. It could be friendly, fancy, silly or serious. Most fonts aren’t one-size-fits-all. You’ll need to determine what a font is saying to you and whether it fits with your design. A way to do this is by brainstorming some qualities or characters that you want to communicate.

Match the mood to the audience. So now you have fonts that you think will complement the purpose of your design, the next hurdle is that not everyone will interpret a font in the same way. You need to make sure that the font matches your target audience. The way we perceive fonts is largely influenced by cultural associations, which are linked to age, location and other demographics.

What if you’re working on a design that needs to communicate to a wide range of people? You may want to consider a more natural type-face, one that blends well into its surroundings.  The most useful sort come in a variety of weights (such as light, regular, medium, bold, or heavy) and styles (such as narrow, condensed, extended, or small caps).

One of the most obvious points is to match the font’s point size to the design context. Good readability should be one of your first concerns, you don’t want your text too small or annoyingly large. The general rule of thumb is, body text should be between 10 and 12 points for print projects. The ideal size may alter a bit depending on the characteristics and structure of a particular typeface.

When a design has good hierarchy it’s well organized, easy to navigate, and simple to find the information you need. Typographic hierarchy is particularly important for text-heavy designs such as newsletters, magazines, books, other print publications, as well as some websites. The basics of setting up a hierarchy in your design involves the following: using text size to prioritize information by importance; using sufficient spacing to create an easy-to-scan structure; grouping related items together; including clear sections (headings, subheadings, etc.)

The details can make a design, and some details which have the most impact are spacing and alignment. They can make the difference between a confusing, cluttered design and a clean, orderly one.

Tracking: also called letter-spacing. It’s the consistent amount of horizontal space between all the letters in a passage of text. Adjusting this setting will make text look tighter or looser overall. Decreasing the tracking is a common technique for saving space in a design. Finding a happy medium (neither too tight nor too loose) that works with your font choice is the best way to preserve readability.

Margins: the blank space around the edges of a design. Unless you’re creating a specific, intentional effect, you don’t want text looking like it’s going to fall off the page (or screen). A generous amount of blank space around the edges makes for more comfortable reading.

White Space: the term used to refer to any blank/white/empty spaces in your design. When you have a lot of information to include, while white space can seem like waste, it’s an essential part of balanced, organized design. It moves viewers through a design and gives their eyes a place to rest.

As to alignment, consistency is best. Mixing text alignment styles (left, right, centre and justified) in a design without any purpose or logic looks messy. Avoid justified alignment. It creates irregular spacing and chunks of white space which make reading difficult. Pick one style for your body copy and stick with it.

What, it can’t just end like that?! Part two will be uploaded next Friday, so stay tuned!

Posted 2 months ago

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