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Fonts of all type knowledge

by Sarah Ward on 3rd November 2015

Fonts are at the very heart of everything we do – whether for print or web.

They are the building blocks in which words are displayed and constructed in our layouts and designs, and they come in an ever increasing range of styles. So what about the very basics? Here’s a beginners guide to the wonderful world of fonts and typefaces.

Choosing fonts - Serif or Sans serif

Serif V Sans serif

It really is a tough call! Serif fonts are a little easier on the eye, the little extensions on the letters help us scan through the copy for a faster read with big bulky paragraphs, especially in print. But then a sans serif is very useful for those punchy headlines and for the web -they are less fussy so less likely to look pixelated. So take care to choose the right font for the right reasons.

Font hierarchy graphic

Hierarchy

So you have been given a document full of copy with a few pictures and you need to create something exciting! Time to look at the copy in more detail – is there anything you can pull out to make the page look more interesting; a title, a quote or sub-headings to split up the different sections of your article. This will create an entry point and texture to engage the reader, inviting them to read more.

Fonts and leading

Leading

Does your page look dense and crowded? It might be time to add a little leading. Leading is the space between one line of text and the next – if it’s too tight your page becomes a solid, impenetrable block. By increasing the leading you separate the lines, making large blocks of copy easier to read. But beware! When using all CAPS too much space can create large gaps so a tighter leading is better.

Font selection

Want your logo to have the wow factor and stand out from all other competitors? It’s not just about the right icon or choosing a great colour palette, you also need to think really carefully about the font.

A font can give your logo personality and character to reflect your company values – are you a traditional or modern business, are you friendly and fun or do you want to be seen as corporate and professional?

We’ve picked a few well known brands below to show that choosing the wrong font can really change the perception of the brand to a customer.

Fonts in use well-known logos and how they might look in another (inappropriate) font.

Here’s what our font gurus think

Dylan at Satellite Creative
The Goudy font

Goudy is what I call a sexy font! Look at those serifs. I mean look. They were definitely inspired by the human form. And a very fine form it must have been too. Look at that capital ‘E’. The gentle curves within the lower horizontal stroke of the ‘E’ are mesmerising. Even the cap ‘L’ is a thing of beauty and that takes some doing (L is generally a bit of a duff letter visually). Mr Goudy certainly knew how to create a good font!

Dylan
Andy at Satellite Creative
The Gotham font

Gotham is fast becoming a modern classic. If you are looking for a sans serif font which is easy on the eye, Gotham has plenty to recommend it. Its softer, fuller, slightly expanded shapes create lines of text that flow effortlessly together. One of the key reasons for this, is that Gotham has a large ‘x’ height (the height of the lower case letter forms) and with its subsequent small ascenders and descenders, the sentences are streamlined with fewer vertical interruptions. And with weights from Thin to Ultra, plus Rounded and Condensed variations, (all of which maintain their integrity), give Gotham a flexibility – way in advance of its rivals.

Andy
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Sarah WardFonts of all type knowledge

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  • Steve Cathcart - 24th November 2015 reply

    No love for Time New Roman? That font’s a classic!

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