Many people think that typeface isn’t important, but a designer will tell you it’s completely the opposite. In fact, the typeface you choose is one of the MOST important decisions. If chosen incorrectly, the reader won’t be able to understand the message you are trying to send. Typography is important because it is used to convey a specific mood or feeling. For example, you wouldn’t use a cursive font on an Army Recruitment poster since the typeface is too whimsical. For this, you would need a stronger, bolder font to show viewers that you mean business.
Research shows that as a reader, we judge the quality of a product or service by looking at the typeface and imagery. Are you professional? Modern? Traditional? Believe it or not, your typeface will show this. Typography has the power to change the reader’s mindset, belief and perception.
Here are four tips to help you learn how to use typography correctly:
- Layout—Use a “grid-based layout.” A standard layout has one or two columns, but if you want to stand out and keep the reader interested, you may want to try three to five. You should also use a variety of sizes to keep the layout engaging. And be sure to keep the layout clean and reader-friendly. Another important factor is type alignment. For example, in a traditional ad you may want to keep everything left justified. This is the industry standard. Remember to stay consistent when aligning your text.
- Spacing & Margins—Use correct spacing and make sure all your type is legible. Take the time to really look and go over the leading (space between baselines of text) and kerning (space between letters). Too much white space in between letters may be distracting, while too little space will feel crowded.
- Colors—Make sure your colors go well together. If there isn’t enough contrast between the type and the background, the test will not be legible. Instead it will be fuzzy and distracting to the reader. You can use a simple tool that shows you what colors work best with each other at kuler.adobe.com.
- Font—There are many things to consider when choosing the right typeface. Is your company a traditional corporate business or is it more modern? If you want to portray a traditional feel, you should be using serif fonts. A modern company should use a san-serif font. Remember, don’t use typefaces that are “too fun” such as Comic Sans. This can “cheapen” your ad’s appeal. There are tens of thousands of fonts in existence. Many need to be purchased, but you can find amazing fonts for free on these two websites: www.dafont.com, www.fontsquirrel.com.
Using these tips will help you create a custom ad that uses perfect typeface. Always take time to make sure everything in your ad is up to par. Once you get into the habit of researching the best font to compliment your design, you will see why typeface is so important.