Typography can be an intimidating subject for beginners but the moment you understand its basic principles you’ll realize how fun and interesting it can be.
I had the privilege to tap into the creative minds of our design team at Youzign and gather useful tips on how to choose the right fonts for your projects, what fonts go well together, and a few techniques that can help improve your overall design skills.
In this post, let me share with you the 5 typography tips every Youzigner should know. Let’s get started! 🙂
1. Pick a font that fits
Choosing a font is one of the first steps when creating a design. And if you’re able to pick the right one, you’re off to a good start.
In the Youzign Fonts Library, you’ll notice typefaces which are fancy-looking, elaborate, unique, have lots of curves and tails, and very thick or very long. These are called the Display fonts. Examples of these are Pacifico, Chunkfive, Bebas Neue, Christopher hand, Coolvetica, Blackout, Lobster, Clementine, Malgecito, PassionOne, among many others.
Because Display Fonts are decorative in nature, they are your best picks for attracting more eyeballs to your design. These are great for small amounts of texts such as titles and headings but not on paragraphs.
Conversely, there are typefaces that look good on paragraphs but have less or no appeal when used on titles and headings. These fonts are often plain, simple, and uniform in style. Examples are Times New Roman, Steinam Roman, Free Sans, Canadian, etc.
These Text fonts are easy to read in long blocks of copy and look great on all computer screens including smartphones and tablets.
If you are required to use a single font throughout your design, fret not because there are fonts which look good for both title and body of your content (like Arvo and Droid Serif). There is something to remember though which we’ll discuss in this second tip.
2. Concord, contrast, but never conflict
Proper combination is key to a good design. If you want to know what fonts to use or those that go well together, just remember the good old rule:
“Concord, contrast, but never conflict.”
If you want a clean, calm, and less fuss theme for your design, you can choose to use only one typeface. This is called the concordant style. If you worry that your design might look boring by sticking to a single font, remember that there are many other fonts that offer different styles within just one typeface – Raleway font for example, offers 9 different styles.
You can use the thickest font style of Raleway for the title, and medium for subheading while regular or light can be used for the paragraphs.
Remember though to stay away from elaborate and stylish display fonts when concording because the latter can make your design look dull and boring for readers as shown in the earlier sample.
On the other hand, if you prefer a high impact and more stylish design, you can use a combination of fonts that contrast. Pair stylish with simple, thick with thin, tall with small, sans with serif. The idea is that opposite attracts. But remember not to overdo it – combining a lot of fonts can create clutter or distraction from the message you are wanting to send across.
At Youzign we recommend using only 2-4 fonts in an average-sized image. If it’s a content-rich flyer or infographics you may use about 3-6 fonts.
Font-pair samples in Youzign
1. Chunkfive, Arvo (Thick Serif, Serif)
2. Bebas, Droid Serif (Thick tall Sans, Serif)
3. Canadian, Free Sans (Serif, Sans)
4. Christopher Hand, Free Sans (Cursive, Sans)
5. League Gothic, Droid Serif (Thick tall Sans, Serif)
6. Christopher Hand, Droid Serif (Cursive, Serif)
7. Black Out, Free Sans (Stylish, Sans)
Never conflict your designs by using typefaces which look similar to each other. Think Clementine with KG Always, or JuneBug with PassionOne. These fonts are more likely to overlap with each other.
3. Always consider size
The size of a specific text on your design implies its order of importance. The bigger the size of an object is, the more attention it will get. This is called Visual Hierarchy in design.
Important sections like the Title, Heading and Slogans need to have bigger, thicker or taller fonts – for emphasis. The size should be incremental. Start large and then go small. Hierarchy allows grouping of these text sections which makes the message come across clearly to your readers. It directs which details need more focus and gives a hint to readers about supporting details (such as subheads and body texts).
4. Think of what your design is about
There are lots of great fonts and it’s hard to choose. But please keep in mind, that every design needs a theme/feel and might contain a story to tell.
Select fonts that will best fit the message or theme of your design. For instance, if your theme is ‘Cosmetics’ – you should use Sans Serif and Cursive fonts. For ‘Corporate’ – that would be Serif, Thick fonts and Sans Serifs. For ‘Kiddy’ stuff – try on unique fonts, grunge, brush strokes, chalk strokes, sketchy fonts.
5. Try adding space between letters
Adding spaces in between letters is helpful when creating a design, especially if you’re working on a minimalistic theme.
Some fonts look more elegant and formal if you add spaces to them such as Free Sans and Coolvetica.
Adding space improves balance for your texts. Instead of stretching the word “Bazaar” on the image above, we simply added spaces in between each letter so it conforms to the length of the phrase on top of it.
Typography is also a form of art that lets you extend your graphic creativity to a textual presentation. By applying these 5 tips we’ve shared with you, you’ll be able to create cohesive and stable designs allowing you to send your message more effectively to your readers.
We hope that you are able to pick up a thing or two from this quick guide. Try these tips one design at a time and you’ll get the hang of it eventually.
Are you already using these tips in your design? Is there any tip you would like to add? Share them with us in the comments below. Cheers!