Category - Typography

When you think about typography, different fonts or the beautiful hand-lettered titles on album covers may come to mind. However, typography impacts so much more of our daily lives than just a website or music. It has a language all its own, and the type you choose sets a tone for the rest of your project.

There are hundreds of thousands of fonts available. Even if you narrow down the count to certain families, you’ll come up with a number in the tens of thousands. No one can quite agree on just how many fonts there are. Mainly because new ones are released on a regular basis. Plus people adapt old versions and add different details to them. It’s safe to say that you should be able to find one to suit the personality of any design.

Importance of Typography

Typography is a form of art. In order to create a flow in the design with the type you choose, you must understand how various elements work together. Once you have a clear understanding of the balance of positive and negative space and the X-height and Y-height of different fonts, it will be much easier to choose one with the attitude you want to convey that fits into the rest of your vision.

You might think choosing a typeface is simply about finding one you like, but you must also consider any special characters you need to include and if the font or family supports them. In addition, if you truly can’t find a ready-made font you want to use, or the versions out there just don’t quite suit your needs, you may wish to create one of your own.

How Fonts Get Used in Graphic Design

Understand that typography is the whole art of using text within a design. Fonts are the specific letters created to be used in it. The two terms are often used interchangeably, because you can’t have one without the other.

The first step in choosing a font for your graphic design is knowing if you want a serif or sans serif version. A serif font has the little legs on the letters, especially uppercase ones, while a sans serif does not. For a formal, more traditional look, go with a serif font. For a modern look, choose a sans serif. There are also a few hybrid fonts which combine the two with some letters appearing almost serif and others straight and without decoration.

You might use a font in your logo to show off the initials or the name of the company. Other ways fonts are used include:

  • Product packaging
  • Website headlines
  • Headers on social media
  • Letterheads
  • Invitations

Those are just a few of the places you might choose to use a unique font. It’s also OK to mix trendy versions with traditional ones such as Arial or Times New Roman. Just try to keep the height and width similar to avoid awkward spacing.

Learn About Typography

Fonts have a rich and varied history, which dates back to medieval times. Of course, the types of yesteryear were on metal plates, while the fonts of today are digital. Older versions don’t always translate well on the screen, which is why you’ll find providers such as Google offering a variety of fonts that work well on various devices and screen sizes.

Learn about the history of fonts and the different versions with our Font Series. It details specific kinds, how they came to be, what the personality is, how others used them and ideas for today’s designers on how best to use each one.