8 Rules for Creating Effective Typography.docx

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8 Rules for Creating Effective Typography Today we’re going to discuss something that is both a hot trend and timeless art: typography. The basic rules outlined below will help you become more aware of how you structure and use typography in your designs. Being conscious of these rules can improve nearly everything you create that contains a headline or major typographic element. Let’s get started! #1 Learn the Basics Your first step towards more effective typography is to learn a bit about the art. If you’re unfamiliar with it’s concepts, you might think that typography must be a fairly simple discipline. Surely, if you know the alphabet you’ve won half the battle right? All that’s left is to change how it looks a bit and you’ve got yourself a font! In reality, typography is quite complicated and is as much science as it is art. The anatomy of a typeface involves very specific jargon, precise measurements and general standards that must be known and respected. As with many forms of design, you can only get away with breaking a rule if you know it well and are doing it intentionally to make a statement. One of the best places to learn about typography online is I Love Typography , a blog dedicated to beautiful type. Here’s an image from ILT showcasing some terms that you should familiarize yourself with:
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As you can see, making pretty letters quickly gets complicated. The graphic above does an excellent job at explaining these terms visually, but this is by no means an exhaustive list of the terms and concepts you need to familiarize yourself with. For instance, terms like x-height, kerning, and baseline aren’t even addressed in the graphic. To get a better grip on all of these, you should spend a few minutes browsing a typographic glossary . What The Heck For? The answer to this question is obvious: “Because you’re a designer!” If you regularly create designs that utilize words, you’re delving into typography whether you intend to or not. Taking some time to learn the basic principles will make you vastly more aware of the characteristics of the typefaces you choose and the manner in which you are using type as art. #2 Watch Your Kerning This post is not meant to be a comprehensive study of typography so I won’t examine each of the terms mentioned above in detail. However, kerning is something that lots of designers, new and old, overlook completely. I was recently discussing this subject with the senior art director of a major women’s fashion website. The single thing that frustrated her most about the designers under her is their consistent lack of effort regarding kerning.
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  • Fall '16
  • Elizabeth Berger

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