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How to Improve Your Typography Skills

How to Improve Your Typography Skills

2020-01-22 |

Most of the time it really doesn’t matter what you’re trying to say, but how you’re saying it.

Why is Typography Important in Design Work?

It may seem simple but it’s an easy way to improve your graphic design work. Typography is all about how you write and design, and not necessarily what you write and design. Every good designer needs good typography skills. If you want your content to be successful and appeal to your viewers, whether it is a user interface design or a CV, it is extremely important and dependent on your method of type.

It’s really important to consider the attention span of your intended user. This is without a doubt your most valuable source for success. Therefore to be successful, you should be able to hold the attention of your user in order for your content to sparkle. When exhibiting good typography in your design work, you are able to put more focus on content and draw in the user, putting them at ease. Don’t be disheartened, you don’t necessarily need to have a special creative gift to produce effective and amazing typography. Learning the basic principles is the only thing you need to improve your graphic design work.

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Use a Simple Typographic Hierarchy

Try not to overdo the styles in your typography. Using too many typographic styles in a single context can make your content feel over-crowded and complicated. Think about the typographic hierarchy you want to use and stick to it. This may seem easy to do, but there are actually many decisions involved. You will need to consider typeface choice, along with the size, placement and colour. Once you have created your typographic hierarchy it’s important to stick to it. This will improve the transparency and quality of your design. Spacing.

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Always be wary of overcrowding your typography

If you are finding it difficult to fit some aspects of your typography in, you may already have too much. Be vigilant and resist the urge to squash it all together. Try selecting a condensed font, or just shrinking everything down and allowing some breathing space. This also applies to the edge of the page, it’s important to allow some white space to surround the text. Alignment This technique is incredibly important, nearly as important as the choice of font itself. So try to stray away from just dumping everything centre aligned, unless it is effective for a deliberate design decision. Why not try using a grid? You can also use guides to clean things up. Don’t just dump aspects of your design in the corners of your page either, this looks messy and like you didn’t have a clue where to put anything.

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Do Not Underestimate Details in Typography

Detail are incredibly important in Typography, and there are a couple you should keep in mind. Firstly you should be considerate of the watch the line-height. A good straightforward and consistent line-height should be around the 1.4 ratio, but remember that can significantly alter from one typeface to another. In addition you should remember to always use smart quotes “”, try to stay away from simple quotes "". Furthermore, when using small-caps headings, try using the small-caps version of a font e.g. FF Meta SC.

Be careful with font-antialiasing. Photoshop CC now allows you to use the “Mac” and “Mac LCD” antialiasing methods. This means that they correspond separately to -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased (only for Chrome and Safari) and -webkit-font-smoothing: auto (or subpixel-antialiased). When starting to experiment with typography in your design work I suggest sticking to the reliable default value (Mac LCD in Photoshop CC). This way you can favorise consistency across various browsers. However, you can use the antialiased mode justifiably for example in web apps. Size Really Does Matter Lend large consideration to the size of the text you use in your typography. Titles can be attractive when bold and large, however if you arrange your paragraphs too large, it can feel cheap and tacky. Consider yourself going to a posh restaurant, the menus are often written in smaller, fancier print, which makes it feel classy, right? However you don’t want to make it so small so it’s hard to read. So be careful when using heading and paragraph text, don’t be scared to make the headings far larger than the body.

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Last, but certainly not least, whatever typography path you take, you must ensure that your user can legibly and easily read your overall message. For example, dark text place on a dark coloured background, not a great idea. Another bad example would be trying to place small type on top of a high contrast photo. Remember that less is always more; this is especially true and vital with typography and text that is intended to communicate a message.

Take these tips and run with them. You should be trying to apply these tips as you design anything and everything with type. Remember well-designed type should be able to stand out on its own, being effective and looking attractive without the need for or use of images. Your typography should be inviting and legible, therefore easy to read.

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