Typographical choices have a big impact on your designs, and that goes beyond the font that you use, or the colors. Typography, like minimalism, is affected by your negative space choices. How you arrange those letters, what you choose to put your typography, and even the consistency of those fonts, which you can use several of within the same piece, can all speak to the mood of a design option.
- Pick the font with the right personality. Fonts have different characteristics to consider, some of which include the width of vertical and horizontal strokes, the accents of certain loops and curves, and even the space between the lettering. These choices of perspective, spacing, and how cursive or straight forward a font can be all speak toward a font’s “personality,” which seems natural when used properly. If you can imagine the type of font that would be used on a business card, for example, that font would likely be much different from one used on a wedding invitation, or a store advertisement.
We expect our font choice to be properly reflective of the occasion, but that isn’t always the case. There are times when certain choices actually call back to a choice we weren’t necessarily aware of, as is the case now with fonts similar to the “Impact” selection. Impact’s most recent usage, particularly online, is in image macros circulated for humor. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be used in any other setting, of course, but it does have a certain cultural reference depending where you use it, and how it’s used.
- Avoid contrasting fonts that are identical or similar. When you’re composing a design piece that makes use of different fonts, you definitely want to avoid fonts that look very close to one another. Not only will it hurt your actual point of creating a contrasting look, or a call and answer that you want to insert into an image, but it also just isn’t likely to be noticed by your viewer. Certain Helvetica choices, for example, will look similar to Gothic font choices. Stay away from using contrasting fonts that are of the same “family” or “group” for that very reason.
Contrasting fonts also give you the opportunity to use some bold lettering and headers, without dedicating yourself to using them throughout a piece. When you’re creating a title, you may not want to use that entire font on the text that follows. It may be readable at the large size, and unreadable at your “normal” rate.
These are just a few quick rules or ideas about how you can or should use typography in your design piece, but there are many other considerations that you will want to take into account, which include the “age” of the font– some fonts were designed explicitly for typewriters, and some for digital screens– and the popularity of some fonts, which could make them feel a bit too cookie cutter for your purposes.