June 17, 2019
I have heard people say, choosing fonts is the easy part of design. Personally that isn’t the experience I have had or seen others have. Typography is very important as far as yearbook design goes, and diving deeper into the world of fonts, typefaces, and all the components is hugely beneficial when making your selection.
To get you started here are 11 rules of good typography and typography design you should know.
- Choosing your fonts – There are a lot of fonts to choose from both free and paid-for. However, this doesn’t mean you have to use them. Using a limited number is more beneficial, and using ones that are tested and true will serve you well.
- Picking font size – All typefaces are not equal, there are thin, thick, narrow, fat and wide. The letters in a different typeface can take up a different amount of space on the page. You will need to consider this when you are selecting your fonts.
- Consider your leading – The vertical space between each type line is known as leading. This is because, in the days of metal type settings, strips of lead were used to separate the lines. A general rule is that your leading should be around 1.25 to 1.5 times greater than the font size.
- Tweak your kerning and tracking – The act of adjusting the space between individual characters in order to have a harmonious pairing is known as kerning. This is a skill you should master as soon as possible, as it makes a world of difference. Tracking has to do with the spacing of all the characters and is applied in an even manner.
- Think about scale and hierarchy – If you have information that is more important, and information that is less important using large headings, smaller subheadings, and even smaller body type is a good way to distinguish them all, and guide your reader. You can also achieve hierarchy with colour, weight, and spacing as well.
- Careful with font combination – Typeface selection isn’t really a random process. When reviewing fonts you should ensure that the type you select with connect with your theme, and also your audience. What you choose for an elementary yearbook would be very different than a High School Yearbook.
- Set a limit on fonts – A common mistake is using too many fonts. If you need more then one, set a limit with two or three. Use one for body copy, another for headers and a third for the subheading. Feel free to go with different typeface families as long as you can pair them cohesively.
- Correct alignment – This is a very important aspect of typography, new designers tend to center align everything, usually because this feels balanced. However, this is the weakest alignment and the hardest to read. You should use it selectively. Practice using the different alignments and ensure that your copy is easy to read.
- Understand and use a design grid – Using a grid makes sure that everything on the page is put relative to another element, which results in both visual, and logical harmony. Everything will look interconnected and cohesive.
- Font pairing is important – when you have a heading and a subheading, go for two different typefaces, ones which complement each other.
- Readability should be a priority – Regardless of what you design, people should be able to read your message easily.