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7 Tips on typography

Design is the art of conceiving visually expressive projects. It entails planning and projecting in order to meet the needs expressed by the client. Even though its form may be determined or modified by the preferences or prejudices of the designer, the message must be expressed in a recognised language and understood by the public to which it is addressed.

In general, during the process of design, words and images are combined, creating compositions where elements such as colour, shape and typography are considered. Typography, particularly, must be used by the designer not only to communicate ideas, but also to arrange the visual attributes of the composition. To do this, it is necessary to have a good understanding of the art of typography.

Typography is subject to trends, as nearly everything that is designed nowadays.

What in history may have been considered indispensable typographic staples (thickness contrasts, ideal for the type of lead), nowadays, with offset or digital versions, are irrelevant. This shows that it is difficult to find absolute and immovable truths. What today is booming, in the future could be just the opposite. For that reason, often, a long speech is required, to stress certain formal subtleties in order to convince that typography is not based on a purely aesthetic style. These are the most basic guiding principles: legibility, font size, paragraph framing, etc.

With these guidelines, we present some different approaches for the use of typography, in an attempt to demonstrate the processes and knowledge to be able to better foresee the outcomes, and try to explain why there are some elements in typography that we like and others we do not.

1. Choose a typography that conveys what you want to communicate.

Fonts always express a bit more than what the text itself says. Therefore, it is necessary to know certain classifications of typographic families.

Pauta 1 Tipografías2. Reject fake bold, italics and small caps.

If you are planning a design with a variety of styles, it is important that the chosen typographical family accommodates all of them.

Pauta 2 Tipografías3. Do not combine fonts with different grades of spacing.

Condensed fonts can work well as headings, captions or highlights, but never interspersed with normal width fonts.

Pauta 3 Tipografías4. No orphans, nor widows.

A piece of text should not have any single words, articles, pronouns or very short words. (Widow: this is the last line of a paragraph that has escaped to the next page or column. Orphan: this is the first line of a paragraph that remains at the end of the column.)

Pauta 4 Tipografías5. Create a good modular system: adjust to a baseline grid.

If the composition consists of contiguous blocks and you need a layout as regular as possible, it is important that the lines rest on the same baseline grid, so that you can move the columns, and the lines of text always remain aligned.

Pauta 5 Tipografías6. Make a contrast between combinations of typographies.

If you choose to combine two or more typographies, it is advisable for them to be contrasting. If, on the other hand, they are too similar, it makes no sense to have more than one.

Pauta 6 Tipografías7. Use capital letters reasonably.

Text written in capital letters slows the reader and takes up more space (In terms of typography, upper case is understood as capital letters. And at the same time, lower case is an expression used for small letters.).


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