Do You Break These Basic Typography Rules?

Filed in Design, News by on May 24, 2013 0 Comments

Do you use typography as well as you could? Image courtesy of Jessica Patterson/Flickr Creative Commons.

Using typography is something we all take for granted. Every day we use it to craft a message or understand a message from another, but rarely give those lines of text a second thought. However, when someone uses typography poorly everyone notices. For example, there are entire websites devoted to pointing out the indiscriminate use of Comic Sans and, admit it, we've all used that blacklisted font at one point or another. It's okay — we're all friends here. But, just because you have committed the cardinal sin of typography doesn't mean we can't do better in the future. So, take a peek at some of these solid dos and don'ts from the folks at Webdesigner Depot and get that bad type taste out of your mouth. While there is a lot of good advice in the article, here are a few highlights you can use that will improve your use of typography right away:
  • Don't use too many different fonts on one page. As designers, we're fortunate to have access to thousands of fonts at the click of a mouse, but that doesn't mean you should use them all — especially next to each other. While typefaces are a great, easy way to mix up your design, adding several fonts to a small space will take away from the message you're trying to get across. Try to limit yourself.
  • Do give your text room to breath. White space is your friend. Incorporate it in your design and be sure to give your text enough room that it can say what you want it to. Webdesigner Depot recommends double-checking the leading (pronounced "ledding," the space between rows of text) and spreading out your lines to make body text easier to read.
  • Don't use large amounts of centered text. Your eyes like predictability when reading. Why not help them out? Centered text is more difficult to read than left-justified text because your eyes have to find the start of the line every time they reset on the left side of the column. Also, by using left-justified text in most of your design, centered text has much more impact when you decide to change things up.
What are your rules when working with typography? What kind of poor typography makes your skin crawl the most?

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Evan is the Ideahaus Community Staff Writer.

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