19 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2016
    1. This article is a guide on font terminology, application, and general rules and guidelines.

    2. Where to Find Free Fonts

      Be aware that fonts that you download might not necessarily be accessible to other computers. Thus, sent data to other computers in your downloaded font might encounter format errors.

    3. But how many fonts are too many? There are those in the design community who would say that one font will do for most projects, and that three is the maximum number you should include in one design to avoid an overly busy or confusing layout. While that’s a good starting point if you’re new to design, there really are no rules — at least, no rules that can’t be broken in the right situation. Some designs will call for a certain aesthetic or an extra-decorative look that would benefit from a wider range of fonts.

      There's never a one-size fits all to this. I recommend playing around with everything until something looks right. Generally, I endorse two fonts, Header and Body, because they reduce headaches.

    4. Choosing two or more fonts to use together can be tricky. You want the fonts to complement each other, but not be too similar — different, but so wildly different that they clash. Avoiding these extremes of too little or too much contrast often ends up being a process of experimentation and trial-and-error — like Goldilocks testing out the three bears’ porridge and finding one too cold, one too hot, but one “just right.”

      This is my biggest headache.

    5. Spacing: Adjusting the spacing of your text so that it’s appropriate for your design is a big contributor to enhanced readability. In most cases, generous spacing improves readability. But if you’re tight on space, you’ll need to experiment with different combinations of font size and spacing to optimize readability. Most design programs will allow you to adjust letter-spacing/tracking (spacing between whole groups of letters in lines or passages of text), kerning (spacing between pairs of letters), and leading (vertical space between lines).

      This is also one of the biggest design flaws of 60 percent of the resumes I see.

    6. If you’re including text in your design, it’s likely that you have something important to communicate. Readability becomes an important quality to look for in a font to make sure your message comes across. How can you tell whether a typeface is readable, other than your own visual assessment?

      My go-to test for this is the "zoom" test. Generally, if I can zoom out to a large extent and still read the text clearly, it probably is readable to most people.

    7. Every designer needs a few neutral fonts that adapt to their surroundings and can be a go-to choice when time is tight or nothing else seems to be working. These types of fonts, sometimes referred to as “workhorse” typefaces, are usually basic serif or sans-serif fonts that can be used pretty anywhere because they don’t draw a lot of attention to themselves.

      These are the default "professional" fonts that tend to have a lot of universal design elements. For example, Word tends to offer these before all else: Calibri, Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, etc.

    8. Display or decorative typefaces (briefly mentioned at the beginning of the article), on the other hand, are never suitable for reading at length. These are the type of fonts that scream, “Look at me!” They come in various degrees of usefulness, from the bold, all-caps fonts that might be used for headlines, to the fonts that are very literal or obvious — such as snow-capped letters that seem to say “I’m supposed to be used at Christmas!” or letters that look like they’re made of made of logs or twigs that supposedly give your design an instantly outdoorsy look.

      There's a lot of trends where people mix and match sans serif and serif fonts for this reason. The contrast really serves to highlight the serif headers and catch attention.

    9. The Basics

      Now, we begin the guide parts.

    10. Consider context and audience.

      Fonts are one of the most important visual elements of rhetoric; of course, it's going to be audience driven. My general basis to choose fonts is kind of like universal design criteria. Meaning, "which font is going to grant me the best accessibility to a broad audience demographic?" Afterwards, I narrow it down to fit the context. For example, I am more likely to use Arial for a blog, but Verdana on a resume. Both have about the same accessibility elements in terms of readability, but Verdana's slightly narrower design gives it a more polished feeling.

    11. Do the elements of your font “outfit” clash, or do they complement each other? Are they effectively communicating the qualities you want to project? These considerations are part of what makes choosing fonts such an important part of the design process, one that should be approached thoughtfully.

      They're also one of my biggest headaches when designing anything with written content. I'm always having the hardest times matching Header fonts to Paragraph fonts, even if they're the same typeface.

    12. All that to say, that for most graphic design purposes today, the terms are more or less interchangeable; fonts are the digital representations of typefaces, and we can change either with a simple click on our computer screens… So unless you’re talking to a typography expert who you want to impress with your superior knowledge, no need to worry about the differences.

      Ah, I got it. So the font "family" would all be the same typeface, but the specific format of it (appearances, like size and boldness) would be the font.

    13. You may have heard the text you use in design projects referred to as both fonts and typefaces and wondered if the two terms mean the same thing. Technically and historically (in terms of typesetting) they’re different, but today, they’re often used interchangeably. If you’re interested in understanding the difference, a few snappy definitions might help:

      I wasn't aware that there was a difference either. I guess typeface would be a category of font, wouldn't it?

    14. rpose.

      The below image is a nice example to people who may need it.

    15. 3) Script: Scripts are what we might think of as cursive- or handwriting-style fonts. They generally have connecting letters. You’ll find that script fonts come in many different styles, from elegant, to fun and casual, to hand-drawn.

      I mostly see these in logos, rather than regular type. They're very hard to read and limit accessibility to people with good sight.

    16. classifications, each with their own historical and technical definitions

      I wasn't aware that there were more classifications beyond serif and sans serif. Huh, this is pretty new to me.

    17. 1) Serif: Serif fonts have little “feet” or lines attached the ends of their letters. They’re generally thought to look more serious or traditional.

      A while back, this was the usual for any "serious" document, such as a research paper. Nowadays, sans-serif tends to be the usual- such as verdana and arial due to their readability.

    18. Short answer: there are many, including some crazy ones that defy categorization.

      A lot of these are pictographic, too.

    19. This guide is designed to offer a comprehensive overview of fonts: their different categories, how to choose them, how to use them, and even where to find free font downloads.

      This is our genre- a guide. That means it's 2nd person perspective, right?