how to use one of the pillars of Graphic Design to your advantage – WAU
Typography, in the correct nomenclature, is the printing of types (as the fonts are known). However, as most of the writing today is done digitally, this meaning has fallen into disuse and has come to cover the entire study, creation and application of the characters, styles, formats and visual arrangements of the words.
Typography is, without a doubt, one of the most important areas of Graphic Design. Your application has a huge scope! And your knowledge is crucial for creating informative pieces that have text as a focus.
Of course, as we talk about Content Marketing, a good use of typography can be fundamental to guarantee a good performance of your strategy.
In this article I will teach you some of the principles of this type of technique so that you can start creating incredible typographic text and images for your blog!
What is typography?
Typography, in the correct nomenclature, is the impression of the types (as the sources are known). However, as most of the writing today is done digitally, this meaning has fallen into disuse and has become cover the entire study, creation and application of characters, styles, formats and visual arrangements of words.
Because they are the basis of written communication, types need to be very well crafted to suit the message you want to convey, the mode how you want to convey that message, at your disposal with the other graphic elements and, of course, at your good readability.
Some Basic Concepts
Let’s understand some basic concepts about typography:
Classification of sources
There are 4 primary classifications of style, in which most of the existing fonts fit: (without serif), Serif (with serif), Script (simulates handwriting) and Dingbat (composed of different symbols in place of the letters of the alphabet).
Serif fonts are the most suitable for books and large volumes of printed text, as they assist reading with greater continuity and without so much eye strain.
Sans serif fonts are mostly used in titles, calls and digital texts (in this case, serifs act more as a hindrance when viewing letters on screens).
Each style comprises countless different font families. Nowadays, with digital technology, it is practically impossible to count the number of types, which grows exponentially.
Each family, in turn, can house some or all of the variations: Thin, Light, Regular, Medium or Semi Bold, Bold and Black or Extra Bold (all with the variation in Italics too).
Some families also have variations in width for their characters: Condensed, Regular or Extended. But beware! Try to avoid stretching or contracting the source manually in editing software, as it can deform the type completely. Use only the variations that come by default.
There are some concepts that accompany fonts in typography. The characters have reference lines that delimit the space they can reach. Each type family has its own. These lines are known as: ascending, upper case, baseline and descending.
Upper case line is the height corresponding to the uppercase letters (A, B, C etc.).
Ascending is the line that follows the height of the characters B, d, f, H, k, l and t. And it is the maximum height of the font body.
Baseline is the line on which most types (with the exception of descending parts) are based.
Downward is the line that follows how below the center line the letters g, j, P and q go.
And there are no rules just for the height of the character. There are measures known as leading, tracking and kerning.
Leading is the distance between lines;
Tracking, in turn, is the distance between words;
Kerning is the distance between characters.
It is also possible to create visual hierarchy in writing, as I just did and I do throughout the text. The use of different sizes, families, distances and variations from the same font, is able to change the whole way the text will be read.
Designers in the process of creating layouts, whether digital or printed, take into account the hierarchy of the text to prioritize phrases or content, both in the most important and in the least important information.
Typically, sentences written in bold or larger font are read first because they attract more attention from the reader.
Another very important factor to observe during writing is the graphic composition of the text with the other elements. The space available to accommodate what will be written will determine how this text will be aligned.
There are 4 main types of alignment:
Aligned in the Center;
And justified, which is the text aligned across the length of the page and can often create large spaces between words to compensate for the size of the sheet.
Some software that has the function of text layout, such as InDesign and Illustrator (Adobe), provide some alignment options that make our lives easier. In the program, it is possible to remove the hyphenation and also align the last indented line, making sure that these spaces shown above do not appear.
All of these factors will influence the readability and readability of your text. Readability is the ease with which letters are differentiated from one another. Readability refers to the reading of the message and the fluency of the characters in the sentence.
Together, these concepts form the pillars of typographic application. If worked well, they are responsible for making a text pleasant and comfortable to read.
How to apply these concepts?
The choice of these variables will depend on what message you want to send and on how you want it to be received by the reader.
Each source reflects how your message will be read. It can pass joy and euphoria or sadness and melancholy (look, it even rhymed!).
And not only emotions, they can also convey security, seriousness, instability, relaxation and more diverse sensations. It could be the entire text listing!
That is why it is very important to choose a suitable type for your purpose, since it can often cause strangeness in the reader if this combination does not happen.
Most common mistakes
Some things can give good wrong when writing your text. For example, if I write a serious sentence with a playful source, the way I would like the message to be delivered will not happen.
It doesn’t seem very serious, does it? This was because the type I chose for the sentence was not at all suitable for the feeling I would like to convey. Or worse, you can choose the least suitable font and color.
Readability and readability are also factors that must always be observed. It seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? But in fact it is quite easy to be mistaken in this respect.
Sometimes you see a font that you like a lot and it seems well suited to your text, but when you put it as the main font, reading becomes a nightmare.
Another thing that can happen is, sometimes, you choose to use a type that is very readable, but that in the text is not readable. That is, it makes reading slower and more difficult.
This can occur either by choosing an inappropriate type or by the lack of rhythm between the letters.
For eXeMpLo, esSa FrAse is BEAUTIFUL, mAS YOUR lEiTuRa IS pÉSiMA (but it would be a success in our late Orkut, it would).
Texts with the letters very close to each other become dense and difficult to read, making the process take longer as well.
It is also important to emphasize the good contrast of your text. I’ve found myself several times with phrases that I just couldn’t read or had a lot of difficulty because of the colors used offer little contrast. In fact, I’ve done it a lot too. Always stay tuned!
Another factor that can disturb your message is the line spacing. If they are too close, reading becomes tiring and visually dense, ceasing to become a pleasant experience.
And believe me, nothing is worse than not having readers for your text (or having and they think your writing is really bad).
A very practical way to avoid these errors is to use an efficient tool: the creation of a persona. It is always important to know exactly who you write for and choose the best source to communicate with. If you want to know more about personas, there is a great post here on the blog, be sure to check it out!
Cases of brands that changed the typography and that worked (or not!)
In 2016, transportation services company Uber announced that it would change its entire visual identity. And with your logo it was no different. The change in it occurred because the reading of its old logo was compromised due to the use of a very Thin font.
The spacing between the letters was also changed and, with this typographic study, the new visual identity of the company was much more pleasant for reading and use in the mobile environment.
The company changed its logo in 2014 using a simpler and flatter typography than the look they adopted. They probably followed this line as it is a trend in design in recent years.
Netflix caused some disagreements with this new typology. I particularly liked it a lot, because I believe the font smoothing made the logo more modern and clean.
Now, get ready because some cases are coming serious.
Gap, a clothing company, has a very classic logo that many people are familiar with. However, in 2010 the company decided to put a new logo on its website with a very different font.
The reaction was disastrous. Countless users went to the company’s social networks outraged by the change. They considered the new design to be a lazy solution that does not reflect the brand they knew. The result? Gap went back and continued using the old logo.
The automotive competition company decided in 2013 to change its logo, mainly in typography. And this was the result:
Many people when seeing the new typography used with the other elements considered that the change with the font made the logo seem less serious, as if it were from a toy company and not from a sports competition in fact.
Despite all these cases, it is important to note: taste is personal. Of course, certain decisions are still bad, but all cases have generated disagreements in the public, including the good ones!
So do your research well and cknow your audience a lot to use the typography that is definitely right for him.
How we do it at Websites Are Us
At Websites Are Us we use some of the fonts available on Google Fonts for the production of our graphic pieces, written on the blog and layout of ebooks.
We aim to provide the best reading for different media, and the sources available on the website are excellent at that.
For blogs we use the Roboto family. The type we use most here. Google, while developing Android, researches the user’s interaction with the smartphone. And working on that they developed the font that would be used in cell phones running the operating system.
The font was created to have good reading and be neutral, and can be used in any sentence or time.
In addition, we use the following font families: Roboto Slab, Roboto Mono and Raleway. In each case we use the most appropriate types, whether in ebooks, posts or in the company’s internal and external institutional images.
As we have seen, typography is one of the pillars of graphic design and has an important extreme, both for the production of images and for texts. The sources can completely change the message and how it will be passed on to the public.
So keep these tips safe! Research your audience well, use fonts with good readability, legibility, contrast, color and spacing for an adequate and pleasant reading.
Be sure to research which font family to use to communicate your message efficiently, as we have seen, many companies position themselves in the market (and in the eyes of consumers) through their logo. Believe me, you will not regret focusing more on this area and will only reap good results!
I hope that this text has been of value to anyone who wants to be more interested in typographic concepts and wants to apply them in their strategy. If you want to know a little more where to look for sources, recommend this post with very good sites!
See you next time!