Typography is the balance and interplay of letterforms on the page, a verbal and visual equation that helps the reader understand the form and absorb the substance of the page content. Great typography, like great acting, can often go unnoticed but poor typography, like bad acting, is instantly recognized and dismissed.
Whether it’s a printed document or a webpage, typography plays a dual role as both verbal and visual communication. As readers scan a page they are subconsciously aware of both functions:
- | first they survey the overall graphic patterns of the page,
- | then they parse the language, or read.
Font choice is perhaps the primary aspect of text typography – prose, fiction and non-fiction, editorial, educational, religious, scientific, spiritual and commercial writing all have differing characteristics and requirements.
Here are some thoughts that will simplify the typographical challenge:
- Narrow down your choices by selecting the tone you want to present. Typography can be used to create personality and feeling on a page:
- | Formal or informal
- | Modern or classic
- | Dense or open
- | Light or dramatic
Some guidelines to improve the legibility of a document are:
- | Text set in lower case is more legible than text set all in UPPER CASE (capitals), because lower case letter structures and word shapes are more distinctive having greater saliency;
- | Regular upright type (roman) is found to be more legible than italics;
- | Contrast, without dazzling brightness, has also been found to be important in effective communication. For instance, black images on a yellow or cream background are easier to read than reversed images or type (i.e., white on a black background);
- | The upper portions of letters play a stronger part than the lower portions in the recognition process.
…and if you need assistance with creating or printing your documents, don’t hesitate to contact your KKP… we’re the experts in making your printed material look great.