The Definitive Guide to Typography: Dos and Don’ts

Contrary to what many people think: there’s a certain art involved in typography. That’s why standard typography dos and don’ts have existed for years. After all, good typography can prevent many blunders. Does anyone here still remember Steve Harvey’s huge mistake in Ms. Universe 2015? 

Good typography and design can make a difference. It’s also an essential part of visual marketing because it can convey the personality of a brand

Don’t know how to make the most effective design choices in typography? Don’t worry. Here are some general typography dos and don’ts to improve your text’s aesthetic and readability. 

 

5 Typography Dos For Every Kind of Designer

1. Understand the brand intent

When choosing a typeface, it’s important to check its compatibility with your branding. After all, font psychology can influence your customer’s view of the brand. Depending on your brand, you may want to choose between bold bulky typefaces, flowy, cursive type, or other kinds. Just look at this sophisticated wants serif font by Vera Skincare—a celestial and elegant skincare brand. 

typography dos and don'ts

Vera Skincare

2. Be consistent

It’s best to stick to two to three typefaces when doing your branding. Any more and you’ll risk your audience getting lost in what to focus on. Not only does this keep your branding tight and clean, but consistency also gets your audience used to the hierarchy of text. Just take a look at how Regenerative Travel uses its font styles and typefaces to keep their brand identity intact.

typography dos and don'ts

Regenerative Travel

3. Use inclusive design

One of the pillars of typography is readability and legibility. Though hard-to-read logotypes are becoming more popular, you still want to use fonts that are readable no matter who your audience is. That is, use appropriate sizes, add white spaces, and don’t condense or enlarge texts to make them harder to understand. Just take a look at this image by Vision Australia.

4. Mix sans serif and serif

Mixing sans serif and serif typefaces like great cheese and wine makes a spectacular combo. It adds a certain finesse to your design. Doing so will also add variety to your type. Plus, it gives a pleasant mix of aesthetics. Just take a look at how clothing brand Alaala mixes a sans serif typewriting type font with a serif body text for a touch of elegance. 

Alaala

5. Harness the power of white space

When arranging long blocks of text, keep in mind that readers need a break in between. When you learn how to harness the power of white space, you’re inviting your audience for a more pleasant and appealing reading experience. Take a look at how this example skillfully adds emotion and depth to a piece of text just by adding a little white space between the text. 

typography dos and don'ts

 

5 Typography Don’ts To Avoid In Your Designs

1. Forget your alignments

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget in typography, it’s neglecting your alignments.  Just look at these examples. See how jarring things look when your text is unaligned? Unless you do it intentionally, it’s best to reserve realignment when you want to make an impact or emphasis. The same goes for using center-aligned text. When writing long walls of text, it’s best to stick to a left alignment to make it easier for the eye to read. 

2. Make it hard to read

Imagine this. Long walls of text. Small, condensed font. No breaks, emphasis, or white space in between. That’s a recipe for disaster right there. You want to make sure that your typography has adequate gaps and spaces for your eyes to rest. Just take a look at this bad typography example

3. Overuse font styles and all caps for emphasis

Using bold, italics, and underlining in your texts are great for emphasis. In fact, so is doing all caps. But be careful with doing too much–you’ll lose the point of emphasis. Not only can this cause confusion for your readers, but it also undermines how your content can be understood. Make simple, decisive design choices to improve your design. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the difference between these two examples. 

4. Forget kerning, spacing, and line height

Kerning and spacing are two important aspects of type design. Kerning denotes the spaces between letters while spacing means the spaces between words. Tweaking your text’s kerning and spacing can make a small but noticeable difference to the readability and legibility of your text. The same goes for managing spaces between lines of text and even paragraphs. Take a look at how this line height and spacing on the right side make the text look more compact and readable. 

5. Dismiss visual hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is one of the most important aspects to consider when doing typography. Make sure that your audience understands what you want them to see first. You can play around with this by adjusting the size, adding emphasis, and changing the font. This is extremely important so they’ll understand your message as soon as they see your design. Going back to our earlier example, here’s what the announcement card from Ms. Universe 2015 looks like. When photos circulated, a lot of people online pointed out the lack of visual hierarchy, but some designers do think that the card’s design was fine

typography dos and don'ts

Ms. Universe Announcement Card

How to Nail Your Typography

Choosing the best fonts for design is a difficult task. it’s not just a matter of choosing what looks good. You should also consider how it will work with your content. Not only that, but you also have to mind the user experience and brand intent. 

You can do the following to nail your typography: 

  • Pay attention to how the natural movement of your eye
  • Adjust and align your texts to make them look neat and neat
  • Check the compatibility of your typography with your branding
  • Use inclusive typography

We encourage you to take these typography dos and don’ts with a grain of salt. There are plenty of amazing typography designers out there who make it a point to veer away from the conventional. After all, one of the best typography trends in the 2020s is creative and expressive typography. If you want to learn the basics though, this article is a great starting point. 

If you’re looking for a place to get neat typography with innovative designs, DotYeti is the place to be. Get unlimited graphic design services today for only $449 a month!

 

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