The art of
using type in
graphic design to
effects . . .
Other issues to think about when using type…
How much text is there to read? Is the project to be skimmed
or really be read(Are you designing for a poster, a book, a report?
What is more important – readability or aesthetics?)
What is the stylistic purpose of the text? (A serious look, a
casual look, a decorative look?)
How much space do you need to fill? Or leave unfilled?
(Different typefaces take up different amounts of space, even
at the same point size.)
Think about integral unity with the rest of your design.
(Imagine the body copy as blocks of gray, not just words.)
• Typography is concerned with the style of type
or font used for the text in print media
• Different fonts suggest different contexts and
• Good graphic design matches style to meaning
Before Gutenberg, various
civilizations had developed a
variety of alphabets and methods
for writing which influenced
moveable type. . .
Typography has a
. The first letterpress fonts
imitated the illuminated
manuscripts of monks.
. Typographers have ever since
been developing new typefaces for
improved elegance & readability.
Printing Press (not an electric
. Johannes Gutenburg
developed movable type
c. 1440 making books
available to the masses.
their own lead to
make type that
would be set by
each letter of
each word of each
We describe the size of type in points and picas, not
inches. There are approximately 12 points to a pica and
6 picas to an inch.
10 12 16 20 24 32 36 48 60 80
Points and Picas
While fonts are measured in points, PAGES are
measured in picas (column width).
12 points = 1 pica
6 picas = 1 inch
Kerning: space between characters
Leading: space between lines of type
Tracking: space between words+characters
(how a line of text is spaced out at the PARAGRAPH level)
The designer’s most neglected attribute of type: the space
Typefaces are optimally designed for print uses and readability,
but different uses, such as display text (headlines,
subheadings, logos, call-outs, etc.) call for fine-tuning the kerning.
Lower-end (unpurchased) typefaces not from a foundry
have fewer rules built into the font file to correct the kerning as
point size increases or decreases.
The way some letters fit together adds more or less negative space. Your eye is
the best judge as to what looks best, and each typeface has different kerning
Paying attention to these small
details is a quick and easy way to
add that extra bit of professionalism
to your presentation.
• Complementary colors are dynamic and full of movement – good for
logos, interior design
• Contrasting colors give emphasis & have high impact
• Harmonious colors [also called ‘analogous’] can create a serene, warm,
peaceful or romantic mood
Fonts & ColorFonts & Color
Preparation: Layout tips
• Keep it simple
• Create a hierarchy of
information from most to least
• Make sure the type is readable
• Generally, don’t use more than
• Align text carefully
• Keep text in blocks and balance
it with graphics: see the text as
simple gray shapes
•Your eye takes in comfortably 40 characters in a single line
•Colors are made up of screen or half-tone combinations.
Colors can become “pixelated” and hard to read.
•Avoid use of TOO many fonts (style clutter).
•Serif fonts are easier to read than sans serif in body copy,
but work well in headlines.
•Roman (normal) is easier to read than italic or bold.
•Upper and lower case is easier to read than all caps. Reserve
all caps for SHORT headings or emphasis.
•Eye path and economy of images/styles enhances
Typography LINKS: Check it Out
* About Illustrator Type Tools
* Getting Started
* Text Warping in Illustrator
* Step-by-Step Illustrator Type Tutorials
* Photoshop and Illustrator Type Tutorials
* Distressing Type in Photoshop
Looking for an interesting font to download? Try
DaFont.com (Thanks to Danny Barry in section FH for
suggesting this resource.)