Typography Do’s and Don’ts Do: Kern Manually T he multiple automatic kerning modes are nice, but for really important text, it’s always best to just eyeball it. Keep in mind that i said, “really important text.” If you’re working with large paragraphs, leading across the entire text area is more worthwhile to tweak than individual kerning pairs. Sure, you could go in and kern each word manually, but it would a inane exercise. However, if you’re creating logo, it’s worth the extra time to make sure that every single letter is placed perfectly.TYPOGRAPHY DOS AND DON’TS.indd 1 29/11/2012 00:56:54
Typography Do’s and Don’ts Don’t: Let Photoshop Kern Your Text T his principle is typography 101. Photoshop is a great tool, but it and all other software with a type tool are no match for those crazy scopes implanted into the front of your face (your eyes). Software uses an algorithm to find a “best guess” for how a section of typography should be kerned. In some apps, you can select between a couple of different versions of this. For instance, photoshop and illustrator allow you to choose between a “metrics” and an “optical” mode. This is a nice option that you should experiment with frequently for various blocks of text. I’ve not found that one of the options works better in 100% of the cases, it really depends on the letters and typeface used. Another thing to keep in mind is that different typefaces will require different kerning needs. To test the kerning in a font, i often type out the uppercase word “lava” so that i can get a feel for some of the typical problematic areas.TYPOGRAPHY DOS AND DON’TS.indd 2 29/11/2012 00:56:54
Typography Do’s and Don’ts Follow the rule of 3 T he only quantitative rule for design is the “Rule of 3”. When you start tweaking the fonts of your document, be sure to apply no more than three typefaces per design (or page). That’s not to say that you can’t use multiple styles within a font family (i.e. Helvetica Bold for headlines and Helvetica Light for photo credits), just be mindful of not mixing too many typefaces and styles – fight the temptation to blend Impact, Courier and Trebuchet in the same document. While there might be a few exceptions to this rule, it’s a good sanity check, to ensure that you don’t go overboard and over-complicate your design. And as a good rule of thumb, you should probably just avoid Papyrus and Comic Sans. Always. Just take our word for it.TYPOGRAPHY DOS AND DON’TS.indd 3 29/11/2012 00:56:54
Typography Do’s and Don’ts Choose a fitting font for your audience B e sure to choose a font that matches the tone and audience of your document. For example, something like a gardening magazine might use a more fun and light serif font, whereas the business would find it more appropriate to use a more structured sans-serif font. I f all of this is sounding french to you, that’s because it is! In typography, serifs are the sometimes curly details on the ends of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. A typeface with serifs is called a serif typeface and a typeface without serifs is called sans-serif, from the french word sans, meaning “without.”TYPOGRAPHY DOS AND DON’TS.indd 4 29/11/2012 00:56:54
Typography Do’s and Don’ts Avoid hard-to-read fonts S ome decorative fonts are designed to only be used for headlines. Be sure when you select a fancy or script font, that you use it sparingly, and that you can still read it. If you can’t read the type, you can be sure your audience won’t bother to try. Also avoid WordArt, which while fun to play with, is very difficult to read. Avoid hard-to-read fontsTYPOGRAPHY DOS AND DON’TS.indd 5 29/11/2012 00:56:54
Typography Do’s and Don’ts Use contrasting text for headlines and body copy I t’s important to define the segments of your document, breaking it up into bite-sized pieces so your reader is inclined to read it in its entirety. One way that you can do this is by clearly identifying headlines from your body paragraphs. For example, you might use a bold sans-serif heading font with a plain serif body text font. You generally don’t want to mix two similar typefaces as they won’t provide enough contrast.TYPOGRAPHY DOS AND DON’TS.indd 6 29/11/2012 00:56:54
Typography Do’s and Don’ts Don’t put text over a busy background Even if you try your best to make text stand out on its own merit by using a bold typeface, a white fill, a dark drop shadow and even a little bit of a stroke, the readability is horrid. At this point, it’s pretty easy to get frustrated and set off in search of a better photo, or worse, give into the “good enough” mentality. This phrase is the designer’s mortal enemy and should be avoided at all times.TYPOGRAPHY DOS AND DON’TS.indd 7 29/11/2012 00:56:54
Typography Do’s and Don’ts Be consistent and keep it simple Consistency is key to building a brand style, or just having a stronger, more professional-appearing message. If your headings are set in a particular font, size and colour, don’t switch it midway through a document, unless you have a good reason for it. The best way to maintain consistency through a multipage document, or from document to document, is to set style sheets. Each software program handles style sheets differently, so if you aren’t sure how to use them you may want to visit your software developer’s help section for a tutorial. Time spent learning how to use style sheets will be a great investment for your future designs. When all is said and done, the important thing to remember is to keep it simple. And simple doesn’t have to mean boring, but instead discerning – keeping an editor’s eye on your design and font selections, so that your message doesn’t get lost in your design. References Http://www.Colourtime.Com/6-typography-dos-and-donts-everyone-should-know/ Http://designshack.Net/articles/typography/5-typography-dos-and-donts-everyone- should-know/TYPOGRAPHY DOS AND DON’TS.indd 8 29/11/2012 00:56:55
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