Typography is like cooking a beautiful and delicious cake. If your cake turns out ugly, people may not want to eat it. But if it turns out with mouth-watering presentation, you are bound to have more taste-testers! The same applies for typography.
The art of type dates back decades ago, where hand-made and machine developed a type-tiff. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a fight but there has been consistent debates about the effectiveness of typography from digital to hand-made.
5 Ways to improve your typography in your marketing
Arranging type is an art form. It originated from hand-made manuscripts and includes hand-set type, before computers revolutionized the process. When Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type, mass production and reduced printing costs became available.
Now that everything is digital, have you noticed that lettering and hand-made type are making a comeback? Humans by nature, are visual creatures and have a need to feel connections to what they purchase. With literally thousands of font options available on apps, programs, etc., it can be hard to know which ones are the most effective.
Do you can have a great vision and a solid marketing plan for your business, but when it comes to typography or even combining fonts you feel confused and frustrated? Well, we are here to help! This article will guide you on 5 ways you can improve your typography in marketing.
1. Fontmares happen.
It is important to consider how your fonts interact with one another when you combine them. If you don’t have the programs that allow you to edit the height between each line (leading) you can end up with fontmares like the one below to the right. Zapfino is a font that has really long ascenders and descenders that will overlap when used on various lines of text.
Can you tell how easy it is to read the text on the left vs. the one on the right?
2. Choose a font with a consistent x‑height.
The x‑height of a typeface is the height of the lowercase letters, not including ascenders and descenders. When the x‑height is consistent it allows your eye to travel easily from letter to letter. Long paragraphs of text can become daunting when the x‑height is inconsistent. More importantly, inconsistent x‑heights affect visual impact and reading efficiency.
While certain type choices may make sense for your market, let’s say children’s education, it is wise to limit the use of it on long paragraphs. Our example below uses the same copy on the left and right. The letters weren’t that clear and enlarging them for visibility means you lose copy space — something that is very important to advertising and marketing. Did you also notice how much longer it took you to read the text on the right?
3. Avoid punctuation mark abuse.
In marketing, it is easy to only focus on the content and forget about how it’s represented in visual form.
One of the worse typography errors we consistently see, is the misuse of quotation marks. For example, quotation marks can’t be used when referring to someone’s height (see below). Instead, you should use prime marks (or dumb quotes). Knowing when to use quotation marks vs. prime marks, will set your marketing content apart. Details really do matter!
4. Logos, logos, logos.
We understand that small businesses can have budget limitations, especially in their founding year. Deciding to develop your own logo or to work with almost free designers can be detrimental to your brand. Should you try either of these, we want to equip you with the knowledge that will help you develop stronger results.
Legibility is incredibly important for logos. Remember to keep in mind how small you are planning to place your logo. The smaller you need it, the more simplified it may need to become.
Using the wrong font, will create costly issues. Take a look at our example on the bottom right. If you were to see that on a sign, would you be able to read it as you walked by a busy mall or event? Isn’t the example to the left A LOT easier to read? An unimpressive logo can result in lost leads, sales or even loyal customers.
5. Use some scale for contrast.
Using different type sizes allows you to create dynamic content, contrast and hierarchy. You don’t always need to use 20 different fonts in your marketing content. Actually, you should NEVER use 20. We recommend following a rule of thumb and using no more than three. Otherwise the soup of fonts will also confuse your readers.
You can certainly create beautiful contrast by scaling type, and using one or two fonts, like our example below (on the right). On the example to the left, the type feels boring, bulky and doesn’t emphasize the intention of the text. As marketers, you spend a lot of time developing content that resonates with your target market. Make sure you maximize your efforts and use the type scale trick to create emphasis for specific words.
Our tips are meant to help you make better choices for any future projects you may have — from a simple office memo to your brands’ visual communication across the board.
I’d love to hear from you, what is your biggest frustration when it comes to typography?