Typography is perhaps one of the most underrated heroes of design. Simply put, typography is the style, arrangement, or appearance of text. It is everywhere you look — from logos and websites to newspapers, food packaging, and everything in between. Whether you like it or not, typography affects the way you read and comprehend text. It communicates a particular message before you even read it, just in the way it appears in the overall design. For this reason, typography plays an important role in a strong brand identity and should be carefully considered to effectively communicate a brand’s message.
Typography Should Always be “Clear”
When designing with type, it is crucial that the typography is clear in its legibility, but also clear in the sense that it will be transparent to see the content within it. The essay The Crystal Goblet, or Printing Should Be Invisible parallels typography to a crystal goblet that is simply a clear vessel that contains colorful and flavorful wine within it. In the same way, typography will act as a container that holds interesting and valuable content.
To achieve clear typography, you must consider how the text reads visually to allow the reader to get through to the message inside. If the typesetting of an article is too narrow, poorly spaced, and in the wrong typeface, the reader’s comprehension of the material will suffer. If the article is set with an optimal line length, and in an appropriate typeface at the perfect size, readers will be more likely to focus on the message and the details of the typography will fade into the background.
“The mental eye focuses through type and not upon it. The type which, through any arbitrary warping of design or excess of ‘colour’, gets in the way of the mental picture to be conveyed, is a bad type.”
-Beatrice Warde, The Crystal Goblet, or Printing Should Be Invisible
Represent Your Brand Through the Type
In addition to a brand logo, color palette, and other visual design elements, typography plays a crucial part in a well designed brand identity. Choosing the proper typeface will infer a particular connotation and should be done with careful consideration. A serif typeface like, Garamond will suggest a classical feel, whereas a sans serif typeface like Futura will suggest something that is more progressive and modern. Traditional script typefaces can infer elegance, and decorative typefaces can often be seen as gimmicks. Choosing the wrong typeface can impair both the legibility and the message it represents; choosing the proper typeface will make all the difference.
Tips to Improve your Typography
Chose the right typeface
Consider the message you wish to convey. Does the typeface properly represent it? If the type choice and your content do not align, head back to the drawing board. For more information on choosing the right typeface, check out this helpful guide.
Create a sense of hierarchy
Establishing a typographic hierarchy in your design will help to guide the reader through the material without confusion. It will highlight headings as the main points of the content and separate the body text as the supporting information. Creating hierarchy can be done by varying the typeface, size, and the weight of the headings and body text. Need help choosing the right pair? Try them out on Font Pair.
Don’t overdo it
As with many other disciplines, the “less is more” mentality should always be considered when designing with type. More often than not, too many type styles will create confusion and distraction for the reader. Adhering to the 1-2 typeface guideline will ensure that there is variety in hierarchy without going overboard.
Typography is an important aspect of design and should not be overlooked. It can affect the way people see the words in front of them. So before you jump straight into creating a piece of content for your brand, consider the choice in typeface and how it will affect your overall message. With the right type choices, your content will be able to say what you mean before saying anything at all.