Before I begin writing anything of significance, I have a little exercise for you. Just scroll through these fonts below & mentally make a note of two things:
- The tone it sets – is it casual or formal?
- The age group it could possible be targeted at – kids, young adults, adults?
Ready. Set. Scroll.
Notice how it took you less than 5 seconds to figure if the design was casual or formal, for kids or for adults? Case proven. Typography is more important & more powerful than you realize. With just the font, you can convey the tone of the brand, the messaging & even perhaps, target your audience with it.
While in the examples I’ve shared, typography is the hero text in the image, typography is extremely crucial even when it comes to paragraphs of content. Should you be conscious of that kind of text while designing? Absolutely! We give you a few guidelines to help you with it:
1. Readability: Does your font contribute to easy reading? While working with text, the danger is cramming too many words in limited space. Take into account the screen sizes of various devices. While a paragraph of content might be alright on a desktop screen, it might take up a whole page on a mobile device which does not make for pleasant reading.
2. Kerning, tracking, & leading: Spacing is most important. Kerning is the spacing between letters while tracking is the spacing between words & leading is the spacing between lines. Fonts contribute to user experience. If your font is too close together or hard to read, your visitor is more likely to exit without reading.
3. Hyphens: Avoid hyphens like the plague. They make reading difficult and just overall, make a mess of your design.
4. Limit Your Typefaces: Too many fonts spoil the design. Strictly stick to a maximum of 3 types of fonts.
5. Don’t forget contrast: The font you pick makes no difference to your design if the background colour, the size of the font & the stroke do not compliment it.
6. Design for Compatibility: Future-proof your fonts. Because browsers are always updating & smart devices are ever changing, make sure you select a typeface that is compatible with modern interfaces on all devices. This will require some amount of testing on multiple devices to find those that work well.
7. Match Your Brand tone: Selecting a font is usually an after-thought. It’s best not to leave it to the final step. Instead, think about your brand message, the overall tone you intend to set & the colour scheme. It also helps to ask yourself a few questions:
- Is the project formal?
- Who is the content targeted at?
- Will it go well with the colours?
- Should the text be bold or light?
8. Consider Page Loading: If the typeface you’ve picked takes time to load, you’ve lost your visitors, regardless of how amazing your font is. You need to have font that is light & fast loading.
9. Emoticons: Emoticons are popularly used in content as they break the monotony of text. They can inject humour & underscore the writer’s sentiment. Emoticons however, should be strictly restricted to content that allows for ‘light reading’. Emoticons on a classy, clean, white design might disrupt the style. Too many emoticons on a single page can make the design look like the late 1990’s designs, which you want to avoid. Use sparingly & only when required to bring out the desired effect of emoticons.
10. Be unorthodox: With font, don’t settle. Skip the Helvetica, the Arials & look for fonts that are not so common. Typewolf has some great fonts that are not commonly used.
Picking the right font is like placing a piece in the design puzzle. It will feel right when it is & you will know it!
Got more tips to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!