One of the most crucial elements to any great print project is using the correct font. Font, or typeface, provides your viewer with the most information. It can add impact to your design or cause the print project to appear busy or cluttered. Keep these considerations in mind when choosing font for your next print design.
First and foremost you need to decide what you want to accomplish with your project, your goals so to speak. Who is your target market? Do you want something bold and in your face? When choosing a font, it is important to think about your goals. Make sure the font you decide on fits what you are looking to accomplish. Don’t settle for something because it looks pretty or because it has great readability. Choose it because it fits your overall design plan.
Serif Vs Sans Serif
Before you can determine whether you need a serif or sans serif font option, you need to know what the difference between them is. Serif font has extra embellishments at the end of the letters. This allows the font to look more unified and makes it easier to distinguish between letters when the font is closer together. This style of font is great for large portions of text.
Sans serif fonts are more basic and avoid the extra flourishes. They tend to look simple, but are more eye-catching. This style of font is generally used for headlines. It is also recommended to avoid sans serif style font for large sections of text, as it can tire out the eyes.
The entire purpose of your font is to be read. Otherwise, what’s the point? You can have the coolest looking font on the planet, but if it is unable to be read, it won’t matter. You have to think about different features you use along with your font. This can be size, colour, spacing or various other features. Make sure your font has good contrast between the background and text colouring.
Depending upon your print design project, you may require the use of multiple fonts. Generally, projects use one font for headlines and another font for the body of text. You can choose from two serif fonts, two sans serifs or even a serif for the body and a sans serif font for the headline. The most common combination is to use a neutral serif and sans serif font, for instance, Helvetica for the headline and Times New Roman for the body.
The most important thing is for the fonts to work similarly. You don’t want to have a large contrast between the fonts. However, it is essential to have enough differences to distinguish between them. Otherwise, the font can look awkward and the reader may spend more time focused on the font than the content. Making the appropriate combinations is vital to the overall design aesthetics. When in doubt, choose one of the classic font combinations. Also avoid using too many fonts in one project. More is not always better.
There are a variety of spacing considerations when choosing a font. The most common considerations are tracking, kerning and leading. Tracking can often be confused with kerning. Kerning is the spacing between two letters, numerals, punctuation, etc., while tracking is the amount of space between groups of letters or blocks of text.
Leading, or line spacing, is the amount of space between each line of text. Some software programs, such as Microsoft Word, give an option to adjust the line spacing (i.e. single spaced, double spaced, etc.).
With thousands of font choices, choosing a font can seem daunting. However, whether the spacing is off or the font just doesn’t fit the design goals, there are plenty of font options that aren’t remotely useable for your project. Think about the goals of your projects. Using these considerations, you can find a great font choice in no time.