We often see how designers spoil work by neglecting the format of the text in their designs, incorrect typographies, disproportionate sizes, lack of legibility, it is necessary to know some basic rules, nothing difficult to memorize, and that will allow us to make better quality work.
Basic rules for the proper use of texts in your designs:
- Know the personality of the source
Every source has a personality, just like people, there are better and worse. On what basis will we choose? Be clear about the purpose of the design and the target audience. Choose a font that matches the expectations of the audience and the purpose of the design. Choosing the wrong typeface can ruin the whole job.
- Avoid predetermined fonts
If you use the default fonts in Word or InDesign you are telling the world that you don’t know there are more options. TimeNewRoman and Calibri are not bad fonts, the problem is that they have been used a lot, they are very well seen. Go back to point number 1 and think of one with personality. Can there be a better typography than the ones that come by default?
- Stay Away From Clichés and Horteradas
Some fonts have gained so much popularity because they are installed by default on most equipment that they have been overused and are considered clichés that we should stay away from. To which I add that Comic Sans is ugly no matter where you look at it.
- Use Two Sources
Most designs look much better if you use more than one typeface. But watch out, more than three fonts is a mistake unless we’re designing a collage. What do we need to remember? No matter what kind of work we’re doing, try using two types of fonts, one for headings and one for paragraph text. Within the same font family try to use bold and italic with process, don’t forget them.
- Use contrasting fonts
While it is good to use two types of fonts, it is bad to use two fonts that resemble each other. Choose two fonts from different families. Serifs (like Times New Roman), or Sans Serifs (like Arial), or Script (when they look like handwriting), or decorative. Make sure the fonts look very different from each other.
- Pay Attention to Size
The fact that the default font size in MS Word is 12 points does not mean that everything reads better in this size. Actually our eyes can comfortably read smaller sizes. In most documents the appropriate size is 10 points and we can even go down to 7 or 8 for business cards. In addition, the headers should be larger than the body text.
The most important thing in a document should be the largest.
- Avoid CAPITALS
We assimilate words through forms, that’s how our brain is able to read fast. But when we write everything in CAPITALS, forms disappear and words become rectangles.
When you write the whole text in capital letters you are slowing down the reading. Another thing to keep in mind is that on the Internet writing in capital letters is synonymous with shouting, and nobody likes to be shouted at.
- Beware of inverse colors
This means that we put a light color of text on a dark background and vice versa. This is useful for headings and titles, but not for much more. If you use this resource be sure to set high contrast colors, never use blue with red, don’t use fine or fancy fonts and use bold fonts.
- Line Length or Underline
We must be careful when including underlines and lines in our documents, paying special attention to their length. When I speak of line length, I mean the width of a line within the line of text itself. If we underline too much text it will be difficult to read. The lines that we use can be long as the size of the font is large, as for example in a news headline. Let’s not go too far with the stroke, that it goes according to the size of the font.
- Adjust spacing
Line spacing is the space between lines of text. The vast majority of fonts are designed with spacing slightly larger than the size of the font. (if we have a font of 10 points, almost certainly, your
- Pay attention to Readability
We refer to the text itself, to the complexity of a written message and to its greater or lesser degree of ease and pleasure in being read. The objective is to find an optimal level of writing of the text, accessible to the public to which it is addressed. In short, it analyzes the target audience and writes in a language that is appropriate, too technical texts save them for the audience that knows how to understand them.
- Look at Readability
We must facilitate the reading of everything we write, even though sometimes a little readable text can be very attractive if used correctly, such as in a name or logo. Everything that is important must be legible, in this case the functionality is above the design. In a CV, for example, our name must be legible, so we will use the correct typography.
- Use the versalitas correctly
Versalitas as well as all capital letters have a readability problem if they are used in large sections of text. We will use small caps for abbreviations and never capital letters, in this way the reader’s attention will not go immediately to the abbreviation in question since the small caps is smaller and this will be more integrated into the text as a whole.
- If you can… Avoid line breaks
We refer to line breaks when a word is divided in two by a hyphen to take the reader to the next line of the paragraph. Line breaks don’t really make reading any easier and they’re really anti-aesthetic. In any program the paragraph can be adjusted automatically so that it does not separate the words by syllables at the end of the line. This separation is rarely good for the design.
- How to Highlight and How Not to Highlight
By highlighting a part of the text we can make it more relevant and more readable to the reader. There is a general rule for highlighting the text and it is that you never highlight more than 10% of the page. If we highlight everything, there will be nothing relevant.
- Play with the Baseline
There are typographies that by their style represent the numbers playing with the base line, this means that the numbers are placed slightly above and below the imaginary line where all the text is settled, called base line. Sometimes and we play with this type of fonts the numbers will mix much better with the rest of the text.
- Use punctuation!
If we know how to use correctly the punctuation marks of a language we will know how to break the rules to draw attention to a message we want to transmit. The semicolon, the comma, colon, semicolon, quotation marks, parenthesis, interrogation, exclamation, suspension points, hyphen and ray.