5 Rules of Typeface

DATE:December 19, 2016

When it comes to your print marketing, there are a few important rules to follow in terms of typography and font. Here are a few for designers to keep in mind:

1. Learn the basics

It may seem obvious, but to an outsider, typography can seem relatively simple—simply letters changed slightly to make different fonts. In reality, typography is often more difficult than it seems and merges science with art. The best place to start when entering a new industry is with the basics. This goes for professionals just entering the industry of graphic design or marketing teams acting as their company’s designers. Learning the terms, measurements, font families and even some history will help you make better designs. Keep reading, and you’ll be off to a great start.

2. Don’t sacrifice readability for aesthetic

One of the biggest mistakes design teams make is choosing a font that is difficult to read or the wrong size. If you want your message to be clear and easy for your audience to read, pick accordingly. Fonts on the “no” list include Papyrus, Impact and—one of designers’ most universally hated—Comic Sans. Fonts on the “yes” list include Century Gothic, Times New Roman and—one of designers’ most universally loved—Helvetica. A few other tips to improve readability include keeping the font contrast high against the background, using capital letters only when appropriate and being intentional about font sizes. Here are a few more tips for choosing fonts.

3. Design according to audience

While you want the typefaces you use to be legible, they also should be audience appropriate. If your target audience is middle-schoolers, it’s okay to use fonts that are more bold and fun. Similarly, if you are marketing to adults, usually your typefaces should be a bit more formal, depending upon your brand and what you are marketing.

4. Limit your picks

Though there is no rule as to how many fonts designers should use in one piece of work, designs that use more than one or two can feel cluttered. More than anything, your typeface acts as an aid to your content. You want your audience to clearly understand your message, not be distracted by the design. Using no more than two fonts helps maintain a cohesive design. Creative content and solid, simple typefaces are complimentary, and are your best bet for getting your message to your audience.

5. Colors matter

Knowing what colors do and don’t go well together is another key element of typeface design. Using colored fonts is a great tactic for your marketing—color has been shown to improve readership by 40 percent. However, the shades you use are key. Make sure they complement each other well, are dark enough to be legible and don’t clash with anything else in the design. Learning about color theory will help you better make these decisions.

Since typefaces are a key part of print marketing, we’ve done our research. Click through our blog to learn more about typography, design, print marketing and how you can use each one best.

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