Typography is the art and technique
of selecting and arranging type styles, point sizes, line lengths,
line spacing, character spacing, and word spacing for typeset
applications. Good typography is critical to the success of a
graphic design project.
In pre-digital days, typeface meant
all the sizes and variations (eg. normal, bold or italic) of a
single style of type. Font referred to one set of letters,
numbers, and other characters in a single point size and variation
(eg. Helvetica 12pt. italic.) Nowadays, typeface and
font are used interchangably.
Type is measured in height in terms of points.
A point is 1/72 inch. Standard text height for reading is 12 point.
However, "12-point" may vary slightly in height from
one font to the next.
Leading is the distance between the
bottom of one line of type and the bottom of the line below.
definitions can be found in our glossary...
- Avoid using more than two fonts in one design, or four variations
of the same font. Restraining the number of fonts results in
a more polished and harmonious design.
- If you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing. Prioritize
the information and give each element emphasis according to
its relative importance.
- Avoid distorting type horizontally or vertically - it can
end up looking shoddy to a viewer. Rather, select a condensed
(narrower) or extended (wider) version of the font.
- Leading greatly affects readability, and should be generous
in large blocks of text. The wider a line of text is, the further
down the next line should be (increased leading,) to make it
easier for a reader's eyes to jump down to the next line without
- Reserve fancy or cartoony fonts (known as display
fonts) for headlines. For blocks of text or other smaller items,
select simpler fonts.
The subject of typography is so important, and so well covered
elsewhere, we are providing you with additional relevant and interesting
Brief History of Type - from RedSun.com
Layout - from RedSun.com
Choosing a Typeface
- from RedSun.com
- a website dedicated to typography and its history
- Upload a scanned image of the font and they'll show you the
closest matches in their database (from MyFonts.com)