Design is not only about pictures and illustrations. Fonts are also an important aspect to consider as they are very important to the tone of your design. Sometimes choosing the right font to use in your design can be a challenge, but only if you don’t know how. After reading these steps, choosing a font will be exhilarating.
Fonts and Typeface, What’s the Difference?
Font originated from the word “fonte” in Middle French which means casting (Harper, 2001). Currently, the word font itself is recognized as an interchange of “typeface,” although a font family that consists of several different types. To be clear a font refers to a particular style or weight within a typeface family, while a typeface is a collection of fonts.
Three Main Categories of Typeface
Before you start choosing fonts, you need to know about type categories. There are three main categories of typefaces, namely serif, sans serif and decorative which can be used in pairs. Here’s what the categories look like for you to differentiate.
Serif typefaces refer to strokes that are attached to the bigger strokes of a letter. It is often called the “feet” at the bottom of the letter. Not all serif typefaces are uniform, some have variations in them. Serif typefaces have the advantage of having many variations of fonts in them, such as bold, italic, bold italic, etc. This typeface is usually used for formal purposes.
Sans Serif Typefaces
Sans serif typefaces look simpler than serifs. It comes from the French word “sans” which means “without”. So it can be described as a typeface category that removes the extra strokes attached to letters. This typeface brings a modern feel to text that is usually used for eye-catching headlines.
The use of this category typeface is usually done separately. Known for its unique font style, but be careful to check for legibility before use. Decorative typefaces are usually used as a headline or title.
Tips for Choosing Fonts
You already know about typefaces and fonts, now let’s start to dig more about choosing the best fonts that suit your design!
Look for Inspirations
As we usually do in making designs, creativity doesn’t always just pop out of nowhere. We had to do some research to find some inspiration to boost our creativity and find out what’s trending right now. For example, one of the platforms commonly used to find inspiration is Pinterest. Let’s say we have to create a typographic poster. We’ll find some of the inspiration shown below there, then we can adapt it to our sketch.
Match the Personality
Choosing fonts has to do with personality. The way you choose your typeface based on personality will give you room to describe the mood and impression you want to convey in your design. There are two ways how you can fulfil personality in your designs by choosing fonts.
- Fit your typeface by the mood and impression you want to bring.
- Choose a neutral typeface and let the rest of your design tell the personality you want to bring.
Pick the Primary Font
Primary fonts are a must-have in any type of design you might work on. The goal is to highlight the main focus of your design, such as a title or headline. It also gives the audience an idea of the personality you want to display as in the first step we discussed above. It doesn’t matter what font you choose for your primary font, but it will help you decide which font to pair in the next step. But other than that, try to choose an unpopular font for your main font, it will help your design to look unique from the rest.
Look for A Contrast Fonts to Combine
Once you’ve decided on your primary font, you’ll need to choose a secondary font to use in your design. Look for a font that contrasts with your primary font; the same type of font will be boring to look at and can be said to be a design mistake that you should avoid. Limit the typefaces you use to only 2-3 typefaces. Bringing in too much typography will cause your design to be inconsistent which makes it unattractive. Also, consider spacing as an element that you need to adjust carefully so that your design doesn’t look cluttered. Let’s have a look at an example implementation of this step here and let’s see what you think.
Check for the Readability
After all the steps you’ve taken, don’t be too sure that your design is good already. You should double-check the legibility of the text written on your design. Sometimes when you’ve just finished a project, you’ll immediately be satisfied with the results you created. But little do you know, sometimes when you re-check your work, there are some mistakes you will find. In this case about font readability. Don’t panic if this happens to you, doesn’t mean you had to redo your work over again. Maybe you just need to make some adjustments or just change some illegible fonts.
Match Fonts With Design Tone
Fonts used for any kind of design job should adhere to any brand or style requirements you may have. That includes adhering to the brand’s aesthetic and character. Additionally, you might discover that certain typefaces and/or styles are prohibited by brand requirements. Or you might discover that, as long as the typeface matches the principal brand font, you have some latitude to add one for specific needs. The main takeaway from this is to check your brand guidelines before diving too deeply into the font choosing process to make sure you aren’t violating any company policies. In the long term, it’ll merely make the procedure much simpler. You can also check the example below.