The perception of typography has changed and is a bigger part of mainstream culture than it once was, people seem to be more aware that they make difference. With documentaries like Gary Hustwit’s film Helvetica, frequent news coverage of people who hate Comic Sans and type designer Matthew Carter winning a MacArthur “genius” grant, typography has become rather cool and keeps evolving in shape and size. For typography purists you know how crucial choosing the just the right type can be, but for others blank stares, confusion and snarky remarks of ‘what a waste of time’ can be heard. The ‘why should I care’ and ‘really how can that make a difference’ towards typography is something I hear often from clients and once I explain and show them type can be as important as the use of color and images they can normally see the incompleteness of the messy aversion typography jigsaw puzzle they have before them.
As a designer you have to adapt your technique to suit the medium and for me typography plays a major role in making any graphic design successful. Without thinking about typography and how it fits inline with the overall design I feel like an incompleteness in my design has occurred. For my type is really important, especially if a project is highly creative as typography and it’s function is not only a science but can become a piece of art in it’s own right. So as a designer here are some tips to consider when incorporating type into a piece of work:
- As a general rule try not to use more that 3 types of fonts on a page
- Is the kerning on it correct, or do things look too tight?
- What message/image is your font sending – are the fonts more masculine, feminine or neither
- To learn more about specific types of typefaces, check out Adobe’s Type Classification Chart
- Alignment should be used selectively and can effect the readability or aesthetic beauty of your design
- Size matters – can you read it? Does the main message standout?
- Be inspired and keep a scrapbook (have a look at my font board on Pinterest)
- Have fun experimenting!
Here’s a really great video which explains the history of typography: