Typography is everywhere. Have you ever noticed the weight and line spacing of the letters in every bag of chips? How about the mortgage company you always pass by with a street sign, “with the best mortgage rate,” styled in fancy letters and bold colors? All these details may not be something you always think of, but they are a part of everyday life, especially for graphic designers.
In fact, letters constantly surround every aspect of our life. They are sources of different insights and perspectives, showcasing the many ways and styles to use typography. Graphic designers treat them as the most essential and gratifying element of graphic designing. Knowing about the structure or origin of a typeface or font makes a huge difference to a design.
If you have been working with businesses for their advertising and marketing efforts, chances are, you have dealt with several clients and navigated the ins and outs of basic typography. But like any trade or skill, you have to stay updated with specific guidelines and rules to expand your graphic designing skills. With this in mind, here are the three crucial elements of typography and graphic designing.
Whether you’re working on print or web design, every graphic designer should give utmost importance to legibility when picking fonts. When typography is not legible enough, it won’t easily convey the target message. More importantly, poor legibility can drive away potential clients or audiences.
Legibility also involves knowing the type of font that will appeal the most to the audience while aligning it with the brand image. For example, if the target audience comprises age groups over 55, it would be a great idea to choose a sans serif font in a large pixel size for better visibility. A large font with a legible style can help even those with poor eyesight to clearly see the typography. Of course, you don’t want to annoy the audience with a font that is very tough to read.
There are plenty of ways to enhance the quality of legibility. You can improve it by incorporating an overlay of a contrasting color with your preferred web font. Try it by adding a subtle black overlay to a photograph to add contrast to a white web font. Keep in mind that black against white has the highest level of contrast, which often results in improved legibility.
When designing typography, take note of the visual hierarchy during the design stage. In simple terms, visual hierarchy refers to the use of color and size to highlight a single item among others and lure the audience’s focus to a specific item over another.
This rule is very critical when a design requires the use of a variety of items or text. This often happens in blog posts, where you have to take note of the font size to form a visual hierarchy. The heading of an article is usually the largest font compared to the rest of the texts. The second-level heading may also appear large but a little smaller than the heading. Meanwhile, the body text has the smallest font, and the surrounding buttons maintain a fairly large size to stand out.
Basically, visual hierarchy is all about weighing various elements according to their importance and using size and color to draw the viewer’s gaze or allow the eye to wander wherever it pleases. Without a distinct visual hierarchy, the audience won’t determine the specific order of how the message needs to be understood.
Last but not least, consistency is one of the most important rules in graphic design. Maintaining consistency makes a big difference in every brand material and design element. It helps the audience identify the flyer or brochure they are holding is the extension of the same company they found on the website.
Staying consistent with the branding and design will help ensure that the audience will not get confused about which brand the company is representing. Consistent typography also speaks volumes about the image of a brand.
Also, make sure to stay consistent with the color palette and web fonts. You can do this by using not more than five colors and shades on a brand element. Using two to three colors is enough. For the web fonts, avoid using over three styles. As much as possible, stick to a single font family. You can incorporate similar styles, but the material should not look exactly the same. Adding a bit of variety within the design parameters is still okay.
Now that you are aware of the three basic elements of typography and graphic design, it is your choice whether you want to break those rules. Of course, there will be times you will be bending some rules when the situation calls for it. But as you progress, make sure to maintain a great sense of sophistication and professionalism in all your designs.