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From a Designer’s Perspective: 12 Rules of Typography

We haven’t given our readers much from a designer’s perspective in a while so we’re excited to share some insights from Madi this week! She recently gave our team some tips and tricks around typography and how the designers choose just the right font for all our creative projects.

1. Understand the principles of typography

Typography is not as easy as it seems. As with any form of design, typography has general standards that need to be followed. You need to spend time studying the art, and perfecting it through practice.

2. Know how to utilize each font

You will want to ensure the font you are selecting will connect to your audience. You should also know exactly what you want your font to communicate to the end audience, so knowing who they are is part of the planning process.

3. Stick to a limited number of fonts

A common mistake is to mix a number of fonts on one design. As a rubric, you should stick to two or three fonts and styles for each project i.e. one typeface for the heading, one for the subtitle and one for the content.

4. Pick secondary fonts wisely

To ensure the readability of your content, it’s important you pair your fonts wisely. Use two different fonts so readers can make a clear distinction between two lines e.g. having different fonts for the header and sub-header. You should also make sure the fonts are not too contradictory, or too similar to each other. While this may present a challenge, done right it means you’ll end up with great typography for your project.

5. Choose your typeface color wisely

Color is one of the most important aspects of fonts, and usually sets the mood of your typography. There are specific guidelines for picking colors you can use. Just make sure the colors you choose are not too distracting. Many clients prefer to have a color combination that fits their company’s products or services.

6. Make use of negative space

Negative - or white - space refers to space that does not contain any element. White space allows your typography to breathe and stabilizes all the design components in your design project.

7. Avoid using design fads

Just like other aspects of design, typography tends to have its own fads. The problem with typography trends is they usually come and go. Some designers jump on these bandwagons when they are completing their projects. The only problem is that certain trends last for only a few months.

8. Pay attention to alignment

Alignment is very important in typography. Non-designers usually have the tendency to center align all their content which is hard on the eyes and can cause readers to ignore your content completely. Left alignment works wonders for typography. When we are reading, we tend to set our focus on the left, which is where we expect the content to start.

9. Size matters

Design is all about creating awareness for a product or service. Your main aim as a designer is to make sure your work gets someone’s attention. Size is an important factor for this. Good design lays emphasis on the most important aspects.

10. Think of typography as an art

In order to be a pro at typography, you should consider it as an art on its own. Try thinking of it as an additional, valuable design element to your work.

11. Get design inspiration

Typography is a constantly evolving art. Every month, there are new typefaces being released. In order for you to stay up to date, it's important you find designs that will inspire your work.

12. Make use of proper grammar

So far we’ve only been talking about design rules, but one of the most important aspects of typography is what the text actually says. You might use the best typography for your work, but errors in your grammar and spelling will leave a long-lasting negative impression.


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