Lots of people don’t realize that there’s more to type then just placing words on a page. Typography is study by designers around the world to learn how to correctly place and size type. When you study typography it’s easy to spot when type is done wrong. There are lots of examples of bad typography – Check out the example below! There are 6 major tips that will improve your typography skills.
- Point Size – When placing type you need to use an appropriate type size. On a poster that is 14’ x 17’ the headline would not be a point size of 12; it would be better with a much more larger size to catch the audiences attention more. When writing body copy point size should be 10-12 points in a printed document.
- Leading – This is the space between your lines of text. Leading is important because it affects legibility. If your lines of text are too close it will be hard to read. The rule is to use a leading size that is 2 points above the type size. For example, if the type is 12 points the leading should be 14 points.
- Tracking & Kerning – These are very similar and easily mixed up. Tracking is the space between a group of letters. Kerning is the space between individual letters. Both can be adjusted by using to type panel. Both need to be adjusted so letters don’t touch each other. This will increase the readability of headlines, body copy, logos, and more.
- Line Length – Line length is the width of your body copy or how long your type is. The average body copy line length is 50–60 characters on every line. Line length usually depends on type size and your design. Depending on your project the number can change.
- Alignment – This is really important in design and typography. There are four types of alignment; center, left, right, and fully justified. Debating on which one to use depends on the design and readability of content. Center-aligned is the hardest to read but still can be used in appropriate times. It’s good to experiment with using different alignments but too much will affect readability and could create a cluttered and confusing design.
- Font – The final tip is to know the different typefaces. Different typefaces can be used to communicate or convey a message or idea. For example a script font feels more fancy and elegant, where as impact is more bold and basic. Both can be used in different contents to express meanings through typography. There are tons of typefaces to pick from; the trick is finding the right ones to use. When picking typefaces never go over board, it’s best to use 2-4 different ones in a single project. You should pick typefaces that have good contrast and compliment each other. Also knowing the difference between san-serif and serif fonts is helpful too.
Not only do these tips make your design and content more legible but it will look better too. Next time when you’re designing or using type try remembering these tips! Keep practicing them and you’ll be a typography pro. Check out the links listed below for more tips and details!