Typography is very often overlooked as just a means to en end. It is so much more than that. The right font, used in the right way, can say so much about a business, just from the way the letters sit together on a page. A fine script with serifs oooses sophistication while a bold sans font is more edgy and modern. I put together my typography top 5 tips, because I believe typography makes the biggest visual difference to a brand.
*These rules are not for designers. They are for people who want simple to follow rules to get a great looking typeface for their brand…
Ed’s typography top 5 tips
Typography Top 5 Tips #1- Future proof your brand
There are many options for fonts. You will find that Windows will use one range while iOS use another. Then there are myriads of paid for fonts to choose from. I recommend you go for open licensed web fonts. These are designed to be used online so are ‘web safe’ but can also be downloaded to your computer and used in word processing and Photoshop/GIMP allowing brand consistency. They are also free and the open licence means they will be accessible to whoever does your printing/designing/writing etc. Google fonts are the best example of this. They are free to download and easy to integrate into any WordPress website. They also have a wide range of styles and every font has a range of weights. If you can’t find something suitable from Google Fonts then your doing something wrong.
Typography Top 5 Tips #2 – Keep it simple
Subtle changes of the simplest fonts can change how we feel about them. You don’t need fancy fonts to create a good look for your brand, keep it simple. You may think that a really flamboyant font looks good to start with, but it will quickly tire. You can take a classic like Open Sans from Google fonts and make it sing in so many ways. Changing the weight, colour, spacing size. as you can see in the image above. Sometimes it’s not the font, but everything around it that creates the brand. You want it to be clear and simple to read. Other great examples would be Lato or Raleway, both Google fonts.
Typography Top 5 Tips #3 – 2 Fonts Max
Keep to a maximum of two different fonts. It is not unusual to pic a more stylish font for headings, but always use a simple sans font for the text body. Newspapers are an obvious example of this. With large bold headlines followed by a simple easy to read body of text. If you are playing with two fonts, stick to your title/body fonts religiously. There is nothing worse than a body of text written in Gothic script for example, but equally a headline using this font will certainly grab attention.
Typography Top 5 Tips #4 – Subtle Colours
Avoid to many colours. Subtle colours work great such as a dark grey instead of black looks more sophisticated. Greyish blues look OK, but don’t use primary colours, and definitely don’t mix up colours. We have been conditioned to read Black on white – to in the main stick to very dark shades on light coloured backgrounds (he says while writing with white on black, but that’s another blog post.)
Typography Top 5 Tips #5 – Never, Ever, EVER use Comic Sans
Never use Comic Sans. There is no excuse. It is unacceptable. If you ever find yourself wondering where your life went wrong, its almost certainly because you used comic sands. And you probably used primary colours too… you monster.