Typography – Know your Font

by | May 22, 2014

fontWe’ve been going through many different terms in our services. So far, we’ve looked at terms in social media and website terms. Today we’re going to look at some basic typography terms along with some basic rules of thumb when using fonts. We know that many brands have specific fonts they use throughout their pieces, but what about those who don’t? And what happens when you’re doing a new type of piece where you want to add a different font for effect? Today, we’ll help you understand fonts and how to use them so you can better communicate with your designer what you’re looking for.


Different Type Faces:

1. Sans Serif Font
(Featured Sans Serif Font: Helvetica)
Sans Serif fonts are fonts without any flourishes. They are very easy to read and used a great deal for most different types of designs.

2. Serif Font
(Featured Serif Font: Georgia)
Serif fonts have slight flourishes (see 6-Serif) but are still very easy to read fonts. They are used many times as body fonts as they are said to help the flow of the eye. They are, however, used in many different ways throughout many different types of designs.

3. Slab Serif Font
(Featured Slab Serif Font: Rockwell)
Slab Serif fonts have serif just like serif fonts (again, see 6-Serif), but they are thicker and without curves or flourishes. There aren’t as many fonts like this out there and therefore this type of font isn’t used quite as often.

4. Script Font
(Featured Script Font: Selfish)
Script fonts have a great deal of flourish to them and can many times be harder to read, which is why in most cases these types of fonts are only used for headers, logos and large call outs. It can be very effective and attractive, but not always the best in terms of readability.

5. Hand-Written Font
(Featured Hand-Written Font: Moon Flower)
Hand-Written fonts can bring a whimsical and personal feel to a piece. However, they’re not always right for every piece and they may not fit every particular brand, which is why they are typically only used for certain headers, logos, and call outs.

6. Serif
A serif is the slight flourish you find on serif fonts. Sans serif means “without serif”. These flourishes differ slightly from serif font to serif font, which is why you can find so many different ones. Look closely and you’ll start to notice the subtle differences.


A Couple Typography Rules:

1. One Piece = One Font per Category
For the most part, you should never have two different fonts from the same category in one piece. (No more than one serif font, no more than one sans serif font, etc.) Because they are so similar, it typically ends up looking like a mistake instead of looking like you purposefully chose two different fonts.

2. One Piece = Max of 3 Fonts
Rule of thumb is no more than 3 different fonts per piece. No matter what your combination, too many fonts can start to make a piece look spammy and create chaos within the piece, making it hard for the reader to focus on any one thing.

Now, keep in mind that there are always exceptions to the rules, but I always say that you have to know the rules before you can properly break them. (And, of course, be able to explain why breaking the rules is okay in this particular scenario.)


At Transformation Marketing, in Lincoln, Nebraska, we can help you pick the perfect fonts for your brand and show you how those fonts can make your piece really stand out and get your message across. We have a team of incredibly talented graphic designers who know all this and much more about typography and design in general who are ready and excited to help you with your next design piece.

Contact The Bean Team

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