Thursday, January 09, 2014

5 Tips on Selecting Fonts for a Design

Recently I came across an interesting question by a fellow designer. "What font [should I] use in [an] annual booklet design?" This was a good question because there's more to selecting a font than just picking something cool. Here are 5 tips to remember when choosing a font.
  1. Consider the mood and tone. The mood is the overall feel you want your audience to have (warm, excited, curious), while the tone is the attitude you project (friendly, professional, playful). Think about how type selection can add or take away from the desired traits.
  2. Pay attention to fonts for their shapes. Smooth curves denote grace, while jagged edges creates tension. Be aware of the power of shapes. So choose a font with shapes that complement your message and the other surrounding elements.
  3. Choose fonts with appropriate readability. This is especially important for large amounts of text, body copy, and small font sizes. Headlines can be a bit more experimental when it comes to readability. But the level of readability is dependent on the needs of the target audience and what needs to be communicated.
  4. Use leading, tracking, ligatures, and other font-setting techniques. A peaceful, harmonious mood can be generated with a lot of leading in body copy and large tracking (or letter-spacing) in headlines. Consider how setting a a particular font influences the look and feel.
  5. Look at various fonts in use. This is an excellent way to get a feel for what a font can do for you, and what mood it can create. Visit the Niice site and do a search for the item you are designing to get inspired and examine how fonts affect their design.
Photo courtesy Steven Ung of

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