Tag Archives: type

Selecting and Pairing Typefaces

There are many resources on the web for how to select typefaces, and which typefaces go well together. To summarize some key points:

  • Read the text, understand the design goals, and pick appropriate typefaces.
  • Pick one or two families of type to do most of the “work” of your design (a serif and/or a sans serif).
  • Consider a third as accent type (a display or script face), if needed.
  • Pick robust families if needed, with extended character sets like old style figures, true small caps, fractions, extra ligatures, alternative characters, etc.
  • Do not mix two serif families, or two sans serif families, or two scripts, etc., as they are too close but not the same, and exude an uneasy feeling.
  • Use adjectives to describe what your type looks like, feels like, and make sure it matches up with the objectives of the project.
  • Evaluate your choices: does result/effect match intention/goal?

Two short web articles on choosing fonts are collected here.

Four web resources for pairing fonts are bookmarked here. (Thanks to John Orrand for a couple of these.)

These should help you as you finalize your brochure and complete your Flickr exercise #2. If you know of any other good resources, list them in the comments.

Bodoni and Futura

Bodoni and Futura were the approved Hecht's department store (now defunct) typefaces.


Learning from Design Reviews

I just spent a pleasant 20 minutes reading a post from The Font Feed that reviews and critiques movie posters. The segment is called ScreenFonts, but there is more to the reviews than just talking about the type. I encourage you to read the post, and sign up for the free email newsletter.

Do you know about other sites on the web that has thoughtful design critiques? Post the links in the comments.

Focus on the Type

I think we had mostly constructive critiques today. If you disagree and don’t think you got enough advice, or you make changes and want more advice, don’t be shy—post images to the Flickr group and ask for feedback. Be sure to identity who your audience is, and provide any relevant information in the description.

Hopefully, you’re now working on a strong concept and will get busy with the full 12 pages of layout. As you do that, remember that your piece should have some kind of consistency to hold it together, but also have some surprises or variety to keep it interesting. You don’t want every spread to be the same because even in a short brochure it may bore very quickly. Think about how you treat images, color palettes, type.

And speaking of type, for this next round you should really focus on the type. Pick your typefaces appropriately. Don’t mix serifs or sans serifs. Generally speaking, you should pick one family of serif type, one family of sans serif, perhaps a display and/or a script. But even within that, don’t overdo the style usage. Have a reason for why you picked which faces, other than “I like it.” Pay close attention to spacing, margins, columns, widths. Do not place type haphazardly. Make and use paragraph and character style sheets for consistency on styling/formatting; make and use master pages for consistency on folio placement, margins, text box placements, etc.

Don’t forget the details like using only one space after a period or punctuation mark. Download the document “TypeTreatments.pdf” from the Box for some other helpful hints. Review your type book for other details.

Work hard!