Type is everywhere, whether you notice it or not. Type is 95% of design and It’s the driving force of all visual communication. Selecting the right type can influence the effectiveness of communication and how it is perceived. Choosing an appropriate type is fundamental for helping set the tone of a piece you are creating.
Why is Type Important
Type has the potential to emit targeted emotions towards an audience that reinforces the entire piece you are working on. Many times type can be looked over because the initial thing that might pop out is the colors used or any illustration treatment, there must be a harmonious balance of all the elements.
Things to consider when choosing a typeface
- Does it come in a variety of weights?
- How readable is it?
- Does it pair well with other typefaces?
- Is there a clear hierarchy between typefaces (if you are using more than one)?
- Does it set the right tone and mood for the piece?
A typeface can fall under two general classifications; serif or sans serif.
Serif typefaces are most often used for body copy in print documents, as well as for both body text and headlines. Serif fonts are known to be more traditional and classical.
Sans serif typefaces are called such because they lack serif details on characters. Sans-serif typefaces are known to be modern and clean.
After you have chosen a typeface, there are a number of ways to manipulate it even further to create a desired mood. One of the simplest of ways is through the tracking (the space between letters). You could put a significant amount of tracking between each letter to make it easier to read and visually appealing to the eye or you could also eliminate the tracking between letters so that they are close to one another to cause tension. Some other ways to manipulate the typeface include various distortion techniques, such as arching the type so it’s not on a straight plane, but arched over an illustration or using distortion as a squeezing mechanism to help draw the audience’s attention to a certain aspect of an illustration that you find most appealing and important.
There are many ways to evoke mood with type. The key is to explore and discover what that mood or perception is for you, and keep it in mind while choosing what typeface to use for your designs. When you look at your design focus on ALL of the elements that make it unique and weigh-in on them all, not just the illustrations or colors. A strong typeface is an incredibly crucial part to your design.