Ten Typographic Tips To Master Typefaces
Any graphic designer will need to master and visit the wonderful universe of typography at some point. This article will find a series of practical typographic tips that will help us with its use.
Typography is a visual element of graphic design that always takes much prominence in our compositions because, among other things, it supports a good part of the message we want to communicate.
Therefore, to avoid unforeseen problems with typography, it may be a good idea to follow, as far as possible, a series of practical typographic tips for its use.
Some of these tips are closely linked to the mistakes I mentioned in the previous article 13 typographic mistakes you should be careful not to make. So, if you are a loyal reader of my blog, they will certainly not catch you by surprise.
From my point of view, we can consider following a series of practical tips to make use of typefaces in our compositions. Although remember that, like everything else, we will have to evaluate each case and its context.
1. Limit the use of typographies
We should not use too many different typefaces in our communication piece, or else we risk making our design look like that of a beginner.
You can start by combining a couple of typefaces, and later, if you think it is indispensable, you can consider including a third one. Remember that if we overuse different typographies in the same creative, we can load the composition, interfering again in its legibility.
2. Do not neglect the visual hierarchy
The visual hierarchy manages to guide the viewer’s eye for a correct reading of the text. To establish a visual hierarchy with typographies, we use size, interlettering (tracking), and typographic variables (weight, width, and inclination). Everything can contribute to establishing a hierarchy to guide the eye to navigate through the composition.
So when we are going to make a design with the help of typefaces, remember to always value the visual hierarchy. It may be useful to ask yourself the following question: what text or information do you want to be read first?
Thanks to the hierarchy, which is discussed at write my paper, we will be able to clarify to the user what is the least and most important of our communication piece. Therefore, choose a typeface or typeface family that allows us to use typographic variables so that we can mark parts of the text with bold or italics and thus contribute to the visual hierarchy.
3. Ensure the legibility of the text
There is no better typographic advice. Whenever we use typefaces, we need to ensure that everything contributes to its legibility. Think about the chosen typeface and its morphology (its shape). Evaluate if it can be read correctly and has enough contrast with the background.
On the other hand, if the text is going to be reproduced on different supports and sizes, don’t forget about scalability! Make sure that the text remains legible even if its size is reduced or enlarged.
4. Always keep in mind its shape and size
Consider the shape of the typography and the size of the text. Depending on where the text is intended, we will need to assign one size or another. For example, it is normal that the size never exceeds 5 or 6 points for legal notices. For blocks of text at the editorial level, which will be read at a short distance, we will use sizes ranging from 8 to 11 points.
As another example, if we use a typeface that is tall and condensed, we will be able to fit more characters in a small space than with a regular typeface.
5. Beware of Kerning
And of course, in a list of typographic tips, I could not fail to mention kerning.
Kerning is the separation that exists between pairs of characters. When using typography for headlines or other special scenarios such as logo design, it is important to watch for kerning. We will alter the spacing to make the world more harmonious if necessary.
6. Use capital letters well
Here is another typographic tip that you might not have thought about. With the arrival of social networks and apps in the last few years, writing in capital letters to highlight concepts or words has become a common practice.
You should know that capitalization can be aggressive and interpreted as raising the tone of voice in more informal use. Always use capital letters sparingly and with a purpose. For example, you can capitalize headings to contribute to the visual hierarchy of your composition. On the other hand, capitalizing paragraphs of text can make them difficult to read.
7. Use good typeface families
Typographic families are typefaces that have different versions to work with. They all have a series of characteristics and a common style. That is why we can identify them as belonging to the same family.
A typeface family includes typefaces with different typographic variables (weight, width, or inclination): thin, bold, ultra-bold, italic, condensed, etc. This allows us to have more freedom to establish a correct visual hierarchy or contrast concepts or words.
8. Take into account the typographic personality
All typefaces can evoke emotions. The set of sensations they can transmit is called typographic personality. Typographies can be cheerful, serious, informal, elegant.
For example, using a tall and narrow typeface is very likely to convey elegance. If we use rounded or thick sans serif typefaces, they appear more jovial and fun. On the other hand, handwritten or ornamented typefaces may convey celebration or fantasy.
But if you want to learn more about typographic personality, do not miss the article where I develop this concept in more detail: Typographic psychology: what it is and what we should take into account.
9. Align to the left by default
Another typographic tip that is worth considering every time we use typefaces. Whenever possible, avoid aligning the text to the center or justified alignment. We know that it may be tempting to use centered alignment because it is asymmetrical alignment, but you should know that this alignment makes reading difficult.
When reading with this type of alignment, our eyes must strain to figure out where the next line of text begins. With left alignment, the eye knows exactly where each new line of text begins. With left alignment, our eye will form an imaginary line on the left edge of the text. Thanks to it, it will be able to find the beginning of each line of text, maintaining the connection with the reading of the paragraph.
On the other hand, many graphic designers prefer justified alignment. Although visibly neater, this type of alignment causes irregular spaces between words and makes the text more difficult to read.
So remember, whenever possible, use left or right alignment for text.
10. Make use of ligatures
In typography, ligatures are glyphs that contain pairs or trios of characters. They are designed to count as a unit when typed in type.
At the time, ligatures originated from the need to economize manual effort, when the mechanization of writing did not yet exist. Today they can also be used to give aesthetic value to the text. They will give more harmony and fluidity to the word.
I hope these ten typographic tips will help you reflect and master typographies in your graphic design compositions.