7 Typography Tips

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Show Notes

Most of these tips are about readability, it’s the designer’s job is to create materials that are easy for the consumer to understand whether that’s the ability to read a map, signage or just plain old legibility.

Here are 7 things to watch out for when it comes to formatting type:

1. Ragged Text

Ragged text is most important to watch out for in bodies of text. It’s when the text causes large gaps at the end of a paragraph. You want to close those shapes and create a nice flow along the edge.

2. Orphans

Are when a word gets left alone at the bottom of a paragraph. Looks weird.

3. Widows

Refers to a line of text that gets bumped from its paragraph and moved to the next column.  

4. Alignment

I think we all know about alignment but here’s a quick refresher: left, right, center and justified. Left is the most common, I use right sparingly usually at the right hand corner of things, center is for smaller bodies of text like invitations or blog graphics, justified can be a little hard to read because it can add the extra spacing but I do like when it works out and it works especially well in columns which is why you’ll find it in newspapers and magazines.

5. Kerning

The space between letters. If you google “kerning fail” or something you’ll see what can happen when kerning goes awry.

There’s a game so you can test your kerning skills which is always fun tweet me your score if you play!

And actually one of you guys shared a pen tool game from the same site which I have yet to try.

6. Leading

When you don’t have enough space between sentences. Avoid that overlapping!

7. Rivers

When there’s too much space throughout the paragraph. I’ve noticed rivers pop up mostly when people send over copy they’ll put like 5 spaces after periods so just clean that up for them so it looks all nice and pretty. Plus easier to read.

Are there tips that you try to follow when formatting your design?