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Typography and Design

Typography is the style or appearance of a text, it can also refer to the art of working with text.


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Courage Egbude

4 months ago | 3 min read
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Typography, it’s everywhere we look, in the books we read, on the websites we visit-even in everyday life, on street signs, bumper stickers, and product packaging.

Simply put Typography is the style or appearance of a text, it can also refer to the art of working with text — something you probably do all the time if you create documents or other projects for work, school or yourself.

Typography is am an intimidating subject, but it doesn’t have to be. You need to know a little to make a big difference in the stuff you do every day, so let’s get started.

Some Common Types of Fonts and what you need to know about them:

Serif: These fonts have little strokes called serifs attached to the main part of the letter, because of their classic look they are a better choice for more traditional projects. They’re also common in print publications, like newspapers and magazines.

Sans serif: These fonts do not have the extra strokes hence the name, which is French for “without serif” the style is considered more clean and modern than serif fonts. Also, it tends to be easier to read on computer screens, including smartphones and tablets.

Display fonts come in many different styles “Fancy, All-caps, Script, Blackletter” because of their decorative nature display fonts are best used in a small amount of text. For example; headers and heavy graphic design.

In a way fonts have their oanguage, they all have something to say beyond the words on the page, they could come across as; Casual, Neutral, Exotic or Graphic. That’s why it is important to think about your message and pick a font that fits.

Some fonts such as; Comic Sans, Papyrus, Curlz and many more come with extra baggage, they have nothing particularly wrong with them they are just outdated and overused if you find yourself tempted by them think twice and consider using something else such as Comic relief, Milonga, Cherry Swash and so much more that are less likely to detract from your message.

When deciding which fonts to use, less is more it’s best to limit yourself to one or two per project if you need more contrast to try repeating one of your fonts in a different size, weight or style.

You’ve probably heard the saying “Opposites attract” well, the same is true for fonts, don’t be afraid to combine font styles that are different but complementary, like sans serif with serif, short with tall or decorative with simple.

This can be challenging at first, but don’t despair. look to other designs for inspiration and soon you’ll get the hang of it.

Other important terms

Maybe you’ve heard terms like kerningleadingtracking, and hierarchy. For those with more experience, these concepts are essential for creating professional-looking designs.

As a beginner, you don’t need to know everything about these terms — just enough to inform your work and help you talk about design with more confidence.

Hierarchy

Hierarchy is used to guide the reader’s eye to whatever is most important. In other words, it shows them where to begin and where to go next using different levels of emphasis.

Establishing hierarchy is simple: Just decide which elements you want the reader to notice first, then make them stand out. High-level items are usually larger, bolder, or different in some way. Remember to keep it simple and stick to just a few complimentary styles

Leading

Leading (rhymes with a wedding) is the space between lines of text, also known as line spacing.

If you’re not sure how much line spacing to use, don’t fret — the default is usually fine. The goal is to make your text as comfortable to read as possible. Too much or too little spacing, as in the example below, can make things unpleasant for the reader.

Tracking

Tracking is the overall space between characters, sometimes called character spacing. Most programs let you condense or expand this depending on your needs.

In some designs, you might adjust your tracking to create a certain artistic effect. It can also help you fix fonts that are poorly spaced to be,gin with.

Kerning

Kerning is the space between specific characters. Unlike tracking, it varies over tthroughoutord because each letter fits together differently.

Some fonts have what we call bad kerning, making certain letters look improperly spaced. If a font you’re using has bad kerning, it’s best to cut your losses and choose something else.

Well-crafted text can mean the difference between something ordinary and something extraordinary — even if you’re just getting started with the design.

All it takes is an interest in typography and you’ll start to notice more, see more, and be able to do more in your own work.

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Courage Egbude

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UI/UX Designer

Product Designer and Writer


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