Communication has a lot to do with the presentation of ideas, insights, and just about any kind of information. Especially with written communication through online mediums, your information has to share space with other materials. Some have better colors and infographic layout while the rest scream as loudly as they can for audience attention. It’s not a competition of aesthetic, but think about it: those with better visual presentation have better chances of reaching a wider audience, thus getting their message across.
You don’t have to be a graphic designer or a visual artist to come up with good communication materials, although knowledge on basic design principles certainly helps a lot. It’s good typography that seals the deal most of the time.
Typography design is not just pretty looking texts though; it involves combining font styles, sizes, spaces, lines, and other important aspects to create a distinctive look. Every communicator must know the basic principles of a good typography to one up their game.
Combine Two Fonts
For best effect, combine two font styles: one for your headlines and subheads and another for the body text.
Pick a font that’s easy to read, especially for the body of your material. Most information and the nitty gritty details of what you’re trying to communicate is there, so naturally you want your audience to have a comfortable time reading this part.
Pay attention to how you combine two or more font styles in creating typography. A perfect font combination complements each other and instantly tells the readers what kind of content they are reading just by the look of the typography.
Take Oswald and Lato for example. Combining these two fonts create a professional but warm look. Both are also in Google Doc’s font library removing the tediousness of using such font styles.
Here are other guaranteed pairings:
Consider the hierarchy of information when preparing your typography. It usually goes as: headline, sub-headline, body. Size and scale follow the same order.
Here is an example of a simple typography layout that uses hierarchy in size and weight.
Take a look at some other hierarchy rules worth remembering:
- Hierarchy using position
Letters in primary locations (the headline, for example) receive visual priority. Assuming all points are of equal sizes, a higher priority position indicates a higher level of importance.
- Hierarchy using size
Bigger is better, especially if your target audience are people over 40. It would be easier to read. Reserve your larger font sizes for your headlines. Headlines have the keywords and most important information. It also has fewer words than the body text thus allotting the larger fonts here makes sense.
- Hierarchy using weight
Fatter is more visible. Letters that have wider stems and stroke widths have a strong presence on the page. If the font family you have chosen has bold or black, consider using these when highlighting points.
- Hierarchy using color
Strong colors make your typography “pop.” A piece of text in a burst of color can add not just to the instant identification of important information but to the overall experience as well. Also remember to use dark type on a light background for comfortable reading.
Focus on readability. Remember that you have a message that you want to tell. At the end of the day, a smooth and comfortable typography will transcend best with your reader. Readability is the one constant rule you should always focus on first.
Good typography communicates so much without the reader consciously comprehending it—it grabs attention, sets the mood of your communication, and creates a reader experience that not only delivers a message but gives out a lively, sometimes motivating, energy.
Almira Manduriao is a graphic designer, writer, and letterer. She expresses her love for the arts through the stories she writes and the illustrations she draws. Her digital gallery can be viewed at www.coroflot.com/almiradesigns/profile.