Understand typographic terms and measurement systems.
Learn how to select appropriate typefaces.
Explore ways type can lend expression to design.
Learn how to use type judiciously when legibility is a factor.
Examine how basic design principles apply to type in the layout.
Typeface – The design of a single set of letterforms.
Typestyle – Modifications in a typeface that create design variety.
Type family – A range of style variations based on a single typeface design.
• Other terms that identify type and typographic forms include uppercase, lowercase, x-height, ascender and descender.
Points are used to measure the height of type and leading, the vertical distance between lines of type.
Letterspacing refers to the distance between characters and words in a line of type.
Kerning refers to selectively adjusting the letterspacing in a word to achieve a more even appearance.
Legibility vs. Expression
The contrast between a decorative typeface and one that is easy to read can be seen on the front page of The Miami Herald . The old-style look of the typeface used on the masthead is not suitable when legibility is important.
Text typefaces are used when legibility is a factor.
Display typefaces are used when projecting a mood or attitude is important.
Serif vs. Sans Serif
Typefaces fall into other categories, such as serif and sans serif.
Within the serif category, typefaces can be broken down into old style, transitional and modern classifications.
Script typefaces can replicate the look of hand-painted signage or calligraphy.
Slab Serif Typefaces
Egyptian or slab-serif typefaces are characterized by square, slab-like serifs
Highly stylized typefaces that defy other classifications fall into the
The right typeface support an idea or attitude. The meaning behind each of these words is supported by the right typeface.
Typefaces can also be evocative and support period looks.
Type as Image
Type can also be configured into shapes that support a visual theme.
Manipulating type can also add nuance and feeling.
Type as Shape, Line and Texture
In this layout, type functions as shape, line and texture.
Type as a Unifier
Consistent use of the same typeface or font family assures unity and cohesiveness throughout a publication.
Type functions in the layout as a compositional element.
To work with type, it is important to understand typographic nomenclature and ways of classifying type.
Expressive typography can add emotional emphasis to a message.
Typefaces used for expression are called display typefaces.
Text typefaces should be used when legibility is important.
In a layout, type needs to work synchronistically with imagery and other elements.