Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New in 2010: Typography Tips

One of the blogs New Years Resolutions is to bring a little more focus to design tips and more specifically typography tips. I'm a type nerd. I'll admit it. I doubt that most of the Creative Cooler's readers care quite as much about type as I do, but there are certain typography rules that everyone should know, designer or not.

If you choose to go into graphic design you will inevitably take a typography class. Most likely you will (and should) take many, but every designer remembers that first class because it's usually quite brutal. The thing about typography is that it's a kind of art form and those who understand it can quickly see and point out what's wrong, but until you reach that point you're usually scratching your head wondering what you did wrong, because it looks almost exactly the same as the one considered to be right. It takes awhile to reach that point and when you do, let me warn you, you will be forever plagued by the vast amount of bad typography that surrounds us daily.

The trouble is, many people set type these days and even plenty of designers never really learned how to treat typography well, let alone those who are simply setting type when they write something in Microsoft Word. There's leeway of course, like any art form, but there are also certain rules that pretty much every designer abides by, especially when it comes to setting something like body copy. Why? Because good typography actually helps you to read more easily. If a paragraph of copy is set poorly it slowly starts to strain your eyes and make you tired. I remember my typography professor telling us that getting tired while reading a textbook is mostly likely the fault of the typography and not the subject matter or writer. Textbooks are generally huge and packed with information. Printing a extra hundred pages to give the type enough space to breath is not usually an economical choice.

So if you've bothered to read this whole post on why everyone should learn the basics of typography, I hope you'll pay attention to future posts giving you said tips and take them to heart. I'm not the first blogger to post these tips and rules online, but since I still see so many people setting type poorly, the more people spreading the word the better.

1 comment:

Alison said...

I may be a bit overly excited to hear your tips... Bring 'em on!