In the marketing world you are faced with all degrees of difficulty in printing. First you have to consider branding and how your company logo and message will be portrayed on a variety of projects. Then you have to consider the typography. While typography may sound like nothing more than the font type of your lettering, it is far more involved of a process. You have to consider everything about your fonts from choosing a serif or a san serif to size, spacing and more. Discover what it takes to make typography great for your next printing project.
Typography in Total
In its greatest essence typography is the look and feel of that typeface when used for text. What you are reading right now uses one form of typography. This will differ from the typography you use for a flyer or brochure. Every use of typography must be considered based on your layout, color scheme, design, grid, medium, and overall presentation. Typography is the system of moveable type that has been passed along since Gutenberg’s invention, yet it also includes hand lettering, calligraphy, and digital type. Digital type is the typography that is most common for use on webpages. The white space surrounding digital type is also part of the typography, as white space balances and counteracts the lettering.
Basic Elements of Typography
When applying the art of typography to your project, incorporating the right fonts involves far more than just the appearance of letters. Here are the many aspects of typography:
•Typeface or font
•Leading aka line spacing
•Tracking aka letter spacing
•Kerning aka spacing within the letter pairs Symbols used in the type
The appearance of numbers in the type
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into the typography process. Everything from the vision of the company to the type of audience the company is marketing to involves typography. Therefore, every detail truly counts.
Choosing Categories in Typography
The first main hurdle when accomplishing correct typography is choosing the font category. You may wonder how in the world you are supposed to choose just one font type when there are so many available. For starters, choose between serif and san serif:
Serif fonts have tails or feet aka serifs attached to the ends of the letters. These are useful for reading faster since they help letters flow into each other via the serifs. Serif fonts feature variations of thin and thick lines that is notable for certain types of projects. Examples of serif fonts include Times New Roman, Century Schoolbook, Bodoni and Garamond.
San serif fonts do not have tails or feet attached to the lines. As a result san serif fonts are more blocky and ideal for printing headlines or titles. Examples of san serif fonts include Arial, Comic Sans, Franklin Gothic and Trebuchet.
Another form of font type is script. This is the type of font that appears to look handwritten. These are carried out in a cursive style or basic lettering. Types of script are calligraphic, handwritten and specially designed script fonts, such as Cezanne or balloon. Examples of script font include Lucida Calligraphy, Brush Script and Chalkboard.
Use these types of fonts sparingly as they are more difficult to read with speed. Designers typically use script for highlights of headlines, rather than using these for the entire copy.
In order to choose a font you want to look at the following: Size of the letter
•Leading, i.e. line spacing
•Measure between and of the lettering Rank and scale of letters
Each of these aspects works in conjunction with the next to create an overall cohesive and emotional piece of content. Choose wisely, or hire a professional printing team to handle your type.
Understanding the Space for Lettering
Those terms, kerning, tracking and leading, sound out of place. Let’s look at these in greater focus. Kerning is the space that is between each individual letter. Tracking is the place that falls in between the groups of letters aka the words. Leading is the space that sits between lines of text or words. The measure of spacing is the overall length of text lines. Using these spacing terms your printing partner will be able to find precisely the right placement for lettering and lines. This spacing is an important part of the process of producing just the right message.
Using White Space When Designing
As noted previously typography covers more than simply the lettering of a project. It also includes the white space surrounding the text. White space is any area on the printed page that does not have anything, i.e. text, graphics or borders. While you might not see the immediate value of white space, this area offers great potential for boosting typography. For instance, the use of white-space on food labeling is often viewed as the mark of a clean, healthy or fresh product. White space offers printers a chance to counterbalance the busy scene of typography with a peaceful and calming point of reflection.
Tricks of the Typography Trade
Now let’s look at the more specialized elements of typography that are often used when printing brand materials for marketing projects. The rag refers to the vertical side line of a block of text. The rag can look too raggy or jagged, and this can create discord for the reader of the text. You can alter the rag by changing the alignment, margin size or type size. However, you can’t do anything about a jagged rag if you overlook this area prior to production.
Hyphens were once an important part of typography because they allowed the writer to end lines more cleanly. This would prevent the rag problem. However, with the use of webpages most designers overlook hyphenation because web browsers do not follow suit with hyphenation. Most of the time, the browser won’t even acknowledge the hyphenation, so it’s useless to use. At the same time, if you are printing materials for a conference, in-house ad campaign or other hands-on items, then you want to use hyphens to your advantage.
Other aspects that affect the rag are orphans and widows. Sounds morbid, but these two aspects of typography are easy to remedy. An orphan is a single word at the top of a new column. A widow is a lonesome word at the end of a column. Both of these types of text are no-goes as they distract the eye from the overall feel of the text. In rare instances, a widow or an orphan can add a certain shock value that can boost your business. However, it is a good idea to speak with a professional before using these special effects on your projects.
Why Care About Typography
Typography offers more than just the look of text. This is an art form that helps create an overall feel, voice, style, image and message. More specifically good typography keeps people interested and reading, which is key to getting your marketing message across. When you are working with branding, typography can be the turning point at which your messages turn into a brand. Harness the power of typography by including this fine art into your next printing projects.