Typography is a designer’s core skill to arrange type in a consistent and appealing manner, by selecting the correct point sizes, line-spacing, line lengths, typefaces and letter-spacing, and adjusting the space between pairs of letters.
These key points are very important to create a professional and attractive design. Because if you miss any of these things then your design is not going to look that professional, so that’s why taking care of these things is always important and necessary.
If you are a designer and like to improve your typography skills then you have to follow these practices and guidelines.
Watch the Measure
Be careful about how long or short a type is. The lengthy measures might become tiresome for the reader to locate or maneuver to the next type. 65 characters including the spacing and other characters used in the line are the most recommendable measure for a single columned design.
The average measure for other designs should lie between forty to eighty characters for optimal readability. Designers can use Robert Bringhurst’s method to calculate the size of the type.
This method multiplies the type size by 30 to give you the measure you should use. Do not give the reader a hard time to strain and locate lines using their fingers.
This is the spacing between two type lines. Leading is affected by some factors such as a long measure that will require you to have more leading and the size of the type. Large type size will require less leading.
Other factors that affect leading include typeface, measure, weight, word spacing among others. Depending on your type size, it is advisable to have a leading of 2-5 pt. larger than your typical size. A well-spaced type line is more attractive and also alters the typographic color in your design.
Do Not Stretch Letters
Some might decide to stretch letters and words so that they can fit in a given space. No matter how creative you think you are being, you might end up ruining your reputation as a good designer if you commit this one mistake.
Stretching letters make them appear to be in between italics and your font type because you are trying to combine two elements to come up with something appealing in your eyes, but it is not appealing to me as a reader.
This is a similar case when someone tries to use the same font as another designer but at the same time trying to make it different. For instance, using a supreme font which is referred to as Futura bold italic for your design and you know it is wrong, then you will try to make it as different as possible but you make it look worse.
Colors are not the only element that sends a message, the mood of your content is also judged at first sight depending on the typography employed. Any font cannot be used to convey any message, there is an analysis you need to do and use the correct fonts in your design to convey your intended message correctly.
Some readers may not know what different typeface means, but others are well informed and can know exactly what to expect. Your audience is not limited to those who do not understand the meaning of the fonts, even those with good information are your target as well.
Using typography in graphics means you being extremely cautious of the slightest mistake that might mess up your page. You need to try and keep it as neat as possible to increase readability.
To achieve this as a designer you need to be consistent with the leading and the space between elements. A designer should use the baseline as a guiding factor to come up with a clean readable vertical rhythm.
Widows and Orphans
They stand for the short lines and words at the end of a paragraph and those at the beginning and end of the column separating from the body of the paragraph. Widows and orphans create unwanted spaces that end p ruining the vertical rhythm and also making your work shady.
They also interfere with a readability as a reader might have a sentence coming to an end in the middle of the page while others at the end. This creates a rugged appearance of your design and is not inviting at all.
One way to avoid the appearance of the widows and orphans is by adjusting either of the following, leading, type size or using manual line breaks.
In your design, there are words or sentences that you would like to put some emphasis on depending on the weight of the information they carry. Do you just pick any design to put the emphasis or are you keen on what you select? Mostly, italics and underlining or bolding are often used.
This is because they do not interfere with the type size or make the text ragged. But combining a couple of them might look your text look worse than it should and the emphasis you wanted to pass across will not.
For instance, if you were using times new roman and then you decide to have an emphasis on your text, going for capital letters and then bolding them and making them italics will make your text to be the worst text I have ever come across.
For typography to pop out so clearly without forcing anything, you will need a good complementing background color. Try to figure out if you used ocean blue as your background color and using the same color as your typographic colors. That would be chaotic, will the writings even be visible?
Just an example. But when making a selection of colors, look for a mixture that comes out well but you do not have to go the old version black and white design. You are a designer be creative.
As a designer, you are expected to be motivated by any design that comes your way. Observe what is new or what is wrong in other designers’ work and try to make it correct for your own use. Make as many observations as you can.
I hope these ways will help you to have a deep knowledge of typography. As we all know that no one can be a professional web designer portfolio without having a good knowledge of using fonts in their designs.