Brand Strategy: Typography, the mother of art

Brand Strategy

Typography, the mother of art

By Abram March 30, 2015 • 6 minutes to read

Firstly, what is typography? It’s useful to clarify the terminology and definition of the word before we proceed.

Typography is a craft that has been practiced since Gutenberg’s invention of movable type. Many designers & printers know Gutenberg as the inventor of the first mechanical moveable type printing press, but the first independent type founder was a French gentleman by the name of Claude Garamond.

 

With that said, let’s closely explain this terminology. Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language understandable and beautiful. Arranging type involves selecting typefaces, line length, type, leading (spacing), size, letter tracking, and my most favorite, kerning, which is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result.

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Typography does not just involve choosing the typeface, it is just the starting point. Close consideration needs to be given to kerning, tracking and leading. Other aspects of typography include choosing type colour and blending type to translate a beautiful message. However, the effectiveness of the message is strongly influenced by the choice of typeface. A good typeface will engage the audience and influence their perception of the message. The key is to choose a typeface that will link the text with the graphics to achieve the objective.

A properly adjusted typeface can increase the reading pleasure of the viewer & beautify your artwork. It is of outmost importance to choose the right typeface that is tailored to your particular project and always bear in mind that even the best typefaces cannot be used effectively in every situation. It is challenging to choose the right typeface because there are so many options available hence it is imperative to understand the rules of typography.

How legible/readable is your type?

It is essential for a font to be readable in order for the reader to be able to differentiate one letter from another. There are many dynamics that need to be taken into account when considering the legibility of the text. These dynamics include character shapes, size, character width, weight, ascenders, descenders, spine & stroke.

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Selecting the correct typeface is in actuality a good starting point for making text legible.

Helvetica is by far the best used font that has other styles beyond the typical bold and italic, This font has multiple styles such as light, ultra light, ultra bold etc. Fonts such as these can be effective if used correctly.

The process of adjusting spacing between characters to make the font relative is known as kerning. This improves the appearance of the font and most quality typefaces will have built in kern pairs so this effect can be easily achieved. Letter tracking is also an important aspect of choosing a legible font type and typefaces that are too open should be avoided by any means necessary!

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Are you a Sans or Serif type?

There is a wide range of different styles of fonts in both groups that can make them difficult to classify. Serif fonts are more customary and sans serif fonts are considered modern & contemporary. Serif fonts are sometimes considered to be more readable and visually appealing.

The Usage of Typography for Web

It is important for the typography used on a website to attract a viewer and retain their attention, In order to achieve this the font needs to be readable, appealing and clear. Titles and headers can be used to attract a viewer’s attention and prevent them from leaving the page.

Type size is an important consideration to keep in mind when designing a web page. Larger types are the most preferred choice as this will be easier to read on lower resolution screens and smaller devices such as laptops and tablets.

Using Typography for print

Choosing the right typeface for print is essential for creating a good first impression. Picking the right combination of fonts can ensure the printed designs stand out, whether it is a letterhead, business card or flyer.

The typeface should not overpower the text as this may distract from the message. The purpose of the typeface is to make the text easy to read and if this is not the case then there is a risk that the reader will simply look at the typeface and not actually read the text.

Conclusion

The objective of choosing the right typeface is to engage the audience. This is the case no matter what product is being marketed or what information is being transferred. Designing for a modern or traditional audience will come with its own specific requirements and you as designer must choose font types that are best suited for the audience. In most cases, the traditional audience prefers artisanal & retro themed types and the modern audience prefer futuristic or elegant modern themed types.

It is essential that all creatives truly understand the value of typography.

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