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Graphic Design Typography

What is the Importance of Typography in Design?

Graphic design has become one of the most popular professions over the last few years. The Digital Age has arrived and every kind of content is consumed in a whole different way.

People are searching for quick readings, less information, more graphics and images, they want something visually attractive.

In order to attain the optimum graphic content level, designers use colors, figures, photos and layouts to compose their product, but there’s another element that is usually forgotten: the words. We can’t forget the importance of typography in design.

While it is true that design’s most important objective is to transmit a perfectly understandable graphic message, it’s a total mistake to leave the text in a secondary place.

A good designer knows that they need to find the way to include the words as a part of the design, instead of simply a complement.

Lots of elements should be considered in the typography spectrum. Font and size play a significant role on the design.

If you want to give a certain message, you should adapt these items to the meaning you want to project. It may sound a little weird, but once we explain to you the importance of typography in design through its elements, everything will make sense.

Types of letters

According to your design message and structure, you can choose between two different types of letters.

The most important characteristics of each one is if it has a serif or not. A serif is small line attached to the end of a stroke in a letter or symbol. Let’s see the principal aspects of each type.

Serif

With a small line attached to the end of a stroke, the serifs make reading easier, since it creates an illusory line that allows you to read without getting lost.

For this reason, they were used by typewriters. Even today they take place in reports and document, mainly of a judicial nature.

typewriter letters

These kind of symbols are used in designs with lots of text. They should be considered in formats such as newspapers, magazines, brochures, etc.

Greats examples of serif fonts are: Book Antiqua, Berkeley Old Style, Bookman Old Style, Courier, Courier New, Century Schoolbook, Garamond, Georgia, MS Serif, New York, Times, Times New Roman, Paladino and Rockwell.

Sans Serif

These types of letters are the opposite of serif ones. The lack of serif is the main characteristic of them.

Sans Serif usually are cleaner letters. It may not help your orientation while reading, but makes this exercise lighter. Words with this style won’t make you tired of reading, but they are not designed to appear in large texts.

The lack of serif it’s a great complement for designs with less words. They have also gained a real importance in the digital space.

Web pages, including news portals and virtual magazines, use sans serif no matter how much text they use. Even scientific written works with hundreds of pages are commonly published with Sans Serif letters. Sans Serif style is preferred in the world of design due to its versatility and aesthetic.

 

sans serif font shown on computer screen

 

They have presence in almost every type of design and publication, especially on digital platforms, because they are more easily readable on computer screens.

There are hundreds of examples we can use, but among the most popular we can mention: Arial, Arial Narrow, Arial Rounded MT Bold, Century Gothic, Chicago, Helvetica, Geneva, Impact, Monaco, MS Sans Serif, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS and Verdana.

Size

Designers must use sizes very intelligently in their creations. If the words are too small, the audiences would not see it and the message will be diffuse; on the other hand, if it’s too big, it will be overwhelming and won’t produce an ideal impact, which proves the importance of typography in design.

The size of the words must be in order with the design structure, which includes the colors, figures and images used. But most importantly, the type of letter.

different sizes of font

Once the design identity is established, the designer has to play with greater and smaller words to accomplish a harmonious art.

A big size of a letter should be used for striking titles, and smaller ones for general information.

Format

Another aspect that must be considered in typography is the text format. No matter what you type or what size you choose for a design, you can accompany it with the format.

These are useful to stand out a concrete word or group of words above the others. We have three primary formats:

  • Bold: makes the letter heavier, wider and darker. It’s used to highlight text keywords.
  • Italic: causes the letters to tilt to the side and simulates a style of cursive writing. It is usually used to indicate strange or unique words, commonly alien to the language in which it is written.
  • Underlined: It is the format that is least used. It has the same function as the bold ones, but they emphasize the word with a line below it. It is used to highlight important extracts of the writing.

Typographic family

Creating an identity for each design or brand it’s needed in these kind of works. It is not profitable to create a unique design, but then make a completely different one under the same brand.

The idea of designing is to establish a line of identity for each brand. In other words, to wrap several different designs with the same characteristics, such as colors, images and, of course, typography.

prints with different typography

Keeping a brand identity means appointing a single type and style for the symbols you will use. However, if you choose a single font, everything will be monotonous. To avoid that, there are plenty of options to use the same font with different versions.

Under the figure of “families”, a single font can approach many forms to adapt the different texts you may have in a single design.

Maintaining structural and style characteristics of the font, it’s possible to find heavier, lighter, taller, wider or darker letters.

With this tool, you can combine different letters without losing the line of identity for your brand.

To Sum Up: Importance of Typography in Design

With this particular group of elements, you may find the perfect way to use words in your designs.

The graphic message may completely change according to the chosen typography, and even the most brilliant art could be ruined by an inadequate letter.

Adapting to the digital age it’s not easy for everyone, but typography has changed, and every designer must know which are the new tendencies to put words into the digital world.

Good designers always have in mind the importance of typography in design. When they manage to use these tools the best way, the designs succeed it’s almost guaranteed.

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