Make Sure You Know That You Are Awesome

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The Typography Manual

No matter what field of design you belong to, if you are a designer, you know that typography is one of the most important and gratifying components of graphic design. The understanding of typography is an essential skill for any designer to successfully build a design.

With a hundred thousand fonts and a million colors, you might have felt overwhelming by the variety of choice and how so many different combinations can be just better than any other combination. Typography is not just letters and numbers, but how it is arranged to fit the design.

As a designer, it is your duty to be well aware of how to use its major components and typography alone has the strength to make your designs stand out. No matter how experienced a designer you are, it’s always helpful to surround your creative mind with the principles of typography. Knowledge about a particular font or how it is supposed to be used can be a really attractive feature of any designer.

Knowing about certain fonts and how they can bring life to your art is one thing which requires a good amount of time, but as a designer who is involved in this field that is growing so rapidly now more than ever, you should be having a good idea of what sells and what people like to swipe left. This article is just about that. Before you move ahead, know that this is not a detailed explanation of what typography is, how you can master it and why it matters, but this is what I use as a reference to make my type feel awesome.

Knowing what works is important and I have discussed just that in this manual, which I am very sure will help you with making your textual visuals more beautiful as well as professional.

When being creative, you always have an idea but it is not always clear what will make your design the way you want it. A simple example of this is how to align your text element that really fits. Designers who create posters are most probably the most common victims of this challenge. It is a continuous trial and error method that reveals the best position for each element. Even for interface designers, placing the text in the best-fit alignment is a dilemma-filled job, especially these recent times when most people are looking forward to clean and minimal designs.

Whenever in doubt, justify the text left rag right. Want to know why? Simple, because people in almost every culture read text from top to bottom and left to right. Justifying left makes it easy for the users to read, hence no problem with the experience.

This is a very common advice that most designers will give or get. But the reason that they state, consistency, is not completely right. It is obvious that having multiple typefaces disturbs the consistency of the design, but the real fact is contrast.

Using more than one typeface within a single workpiece is a work of highly skilled designers and needs an in-depth understanding of the chosen typefaces. It is better to stay with one typeface until you have achieved mastery. Pairing fonts is a skill in itself, which I will leave for another article for now.

Form your type along one primary axis and align all the elements to this grid line. When elements are arranged around an axis, the design becomes more ordered and becomes easier for you to keep the layout clean and consistent.

For a vertical axis, aligning the left edge of your type satisfies all fonts and sizes. For a horizontal axis, align on the strongest horizontal element. This may be done on either the baseline or the cap height depending on the design.

Headings are what makes the rest of the text matter. They act as signposts for readers which makes them absorb the overall content and structure of your articles. Limiting to two levels of headings is best accepted and also most conveying to the reader. Having more than two levels of heading can distract the user and confuse the hierarchy.

The primary heading should be 180–200% of the body text and the secondary heading, if exists, should be 130–150% of the body text.

When changing weights, go from light to bold or regular to extra bold. Skipping the in-between weight brings out a key component of great design, contrast.

Not skipping a weight differentiates the text, but can be difficult for the reader to notice it. One example of creating a great contrast is to keep the headline bold and the body light. Greater the contrast, the easier it is for the reader to understand the difference in strengths of your different weights.

Notice how each consecutive style looks similar in weights, which is true for every font. Skipping weights can be used instead of changing point sizes to differentiate the importance or hierarchy of text.

Mix uppercase with lowercase. Previously, when there were metal types, people used to store lowercase letters separate from uppercase letters in a different drawer or case, for which they are called so.

This is beneficial because it allows us to achieve a good contrast without changing point sizes or using different types. Contrast is the key to get good design done simply. Mixing cases is an undervalued property that can bring satisfactory and great contrast to your designs.

I hope these few basic points will help you take on typography better.

Liked what you read? Consider giving it a few claps. I write on design, technology, and anything I find interesting. You can follow me here. For more design related content, follow DesignGrad here.

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