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Let's talk typography

Published by
Paul Gordon
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For me, typography really does matter. The art of arranging text in a way that’s both visually appealing and easy for the eye to read is a beautiful thing and often neglected.

But I get it, typography can be quite technical. You’ve considerations between serifs, cap height, x-height, letter spacing, stroke contrasts, and all that jazz. Even negative space is part of typography and can make or break the effect of your overall design language. If you don’t let it breathe you can suffocate your design or your clients!

It’s okay if you don’t know the ins and outs of what makes a font. To help you get started, I thought I would fire out some typography tips that your brand should follow when it comes to your designs. I hope you enjoy them!

Less is more 

To create clear copy that guides the eye through a design, decide on two fonts and be consistent. You’ll want one that can be used for display purposes (headings) and the other to be more functional (body copy).

You can play with the weights of the fonts. Use heavier weights for headings and titles and lighter weights for body copy. The heavier weights stand out more, great for emphasising an idea. Meanwhile, the lighter weights are easier for the eye to read when there’s a lot of type in one place. 

A good rule of thumb is to jump a weight class when going from your heading font to your body font. Doing this creates contrast, just like changing the colour or shade. For example, if you’re using “light” for body copy, use “bold” for headings (skipping over “medium”).

Also, Serif fonts are great at moving the reader’s eye along to encourage greater effectivity and reading speed, especially for those that feature lots of text.

If your design is meant for online readers, then sans-serif is just what you need because of the simplified letterforms which can be displayed more clearly on different screen resolutions.

Pairing the two really works: they create more of that desirable contrast.

Adopted some structure, jump on the grid

Learning to use a grid system will help you create hidden harmonies in your typographical layouts.

These can be essential in helping you create structure in your designs.

This is one of those “you’re aware of it without even realising it” parts of good design, and it’s well worth researching to get confident with it!

If you fancy taking a deep dive into the ins and outs of grid systems take a look at this article here.

It's all in the alignment

This one is a real pet peeve for many designers (especially me)!

Lots of design newbies want to centre-align their paragraphs because they believe it looks better.

Think about it though, centre-aligned text is really hard for your brain to read quickly, making it a bit of a headache if you have lines and lines of hard-to-read text!

Centre-aligning headings or tiny snippets of text for emphasis here and there is fine, but no design should be centre-aligned entirely.

If you’re formatting in a language where people read from left to right, go for left-aligned text, simple, no? It's just like you’d find in a magazine, book, or newspaper.

Hierarchy is King

In graphic design, your hierarchy is how you format text to indicate what’s the most important. The "look at this first" piece! This is a concept you’re actually familiar with and used to working around, even if you’re not aware that you are!

As designers, we love to create a hierarchy of typefaces that highlight the most essential pieces of information. Headings and titles will be boldest and used for keywords and signposting. Subheadings will be more subtle to supplement the headings, adding a little more detail. Body text will be much less obtrusive, offering all the rest of the relevant information.

The hierarchy lets the reader scan through the text quickly, picking out the information they need most, and lets them stop to dive deeper into a specific paragraph they know is the most relevant to them.

Use spacing to organise

Sp a c   in gmat t   t e rs. We naturally assume that content placed close together is connected. This means that the opposite is true: if two pieces of content are too far apart, we assume they’re unrelated.

This is an important concept to get right, nobody wants to leave the reader confused or frustrated. Make sure that ideas that belong together are close together to avoid losing your audience.

I’d love to know how you find this post, and if you give any of these tips a go – drop me a message on LinkedIn if you enjoyed it, and make sure to follow The Brady Creative for more tips & marketing knowledge!

#typographytips #branding #design #marketing

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