How to Choose the Perfect Typeface (Fonts) for you Graphic design projects.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is the typeface worth? In truth it is priceless. If you are not using the right typeface on a website, an advertisement, or anywhere, then people are going to be less likely to take notice. In worse cases, they will be deterred from even reading the message and avoid whatever it is about all together. For millions of companies and individuals online that make their money based on digital content, having the right typeface is an absolute requirement. In all areas of marketing, be it design logos or announcement flyers, utilizing the best typeface for the job is crucial.
How do you pick the perfect typeface?
There are a million and one guides out there for how to pick the perfect typeface for your project. Unfortunately, you won’t really find any magical guide that tells you what to do in every situation. Every project is unique and can have multiple typefaces, or combinations of typefaces, that works for them. At most, there are some common things that you should avoid and general tips that can apply to most projects.
Remember your typeface sets the mood.
Always be aware of what tone the font is setting for the design. Serious logos should have serious and professional appeal. Using bubble letters on something like a bank logo will almost never be considered appropriate.
Unique can be great, when used in the right amount.
Going with highly decorative and unique fonts can be great for some projects, but remember moderation is key. Letters that have a lot of flourish can make a page look cramped and confusing. But using highly accented with a complimentary standard font can help tone it down and enrich a page.
If you are going to use multiple typefaces, pair them appropriately.
The general guideline when pairing fonts is to use a san serif with a neutral serif. A good example is to pair “Times New Roman” with “Helvetica”. The guideline is generally considered the safest way to use multiple fonts. There are times when you can ignore it and the design looks good, but those exceptions are not too common. If you use too many fonts though, you end up getting a very messy, patchwork of content that looks somewhere between a cliché ransom letter from a 1990’s movie and a thrift store.
Choose a typeface that is comprehensive and legible.
Fancy fonts are nice, but can be a bit difficult to read. Imagine if roadsigns on highways were done in “Vladimir Script”. There would be a lot of people missing their exit. Consider the target audience for and purpose for the text in the design. The same can be said when pondering how to choose the perfect typeface for web content. What you see in your editor and what they see in the browser on their laptop, phone, or tablet is not going to be the same.
You get what you pay for.
When choosing the perfect font for your typeface, consider spending a bit more time and money when making your decision. For businesses, this is one area of marketing that cutting corners is not a place to do so. Building up a brand requires a lot of things, one major component is the logo that you want people to recognize ans associate with. Every company needs a clear and memorable design. If you collection of fonts are not working to capture the right feel and level of legibility you need, loosen the purse strings a bit. There are thousands of fonts available and each one has the potential to make or break a design scheme.
The difference between premium and free fonts.
When selecting the typeface for your project, it is also important to consider using a free font or purchasing a premium one. Like the general guidelines and tips, there is not always a one size fits all answer. For many none professional projects, or amateur level design, there is no reason to invest in premium fonts. However, for something that really stands out and can make the difference in getting noticed or not, premium fonts can be the better option.
Choosing a premium font also allows you to often consult with the designer behind them to an extent and to preview it in different settings to see if it will be right for your project. There are several forums for both purchasing premium fonts and obtaining open source, or free fonts. In the end though, aside from more input from the seller, you also get two major things that free fonts can’t give. You get access to a font that not everyone else can use, and you get a broader selection of fonts to choose from. Our favorite premium font site is MyFonts.com with their easy ordering system, access to previously purchased fonts and our favorite feature the “WhatTheFont” search system is simply the best.
These are the most popular premium fonts for 2015:
One thing both examples give is advice on the hot 2015 fonts.
With the ever increasing use of digital design and media, there is a general feeling among the design community that this year the world should begin to see some better typefaces. The 1990s and early 2000s saw the internet flooded with some of the most boring and often times, hard to read content. In the last few years though, there has been a lot of push for websites and online graphic content to step up the game.
With the widespread use of tablets in particular, people are viewing things from a whole new perspective. Bold lines, open lettering, and hints of relief are making designs pop with freshness and appealing to every generation. Some older styles have been revamped, giving some 2015s new picks, like “Chelsea” a bit of the glamorous and classy look. In fashion, they say don’t throw anything in the closet away because it will be back in style at some point. The same is true for some of this years up and coming popular picks in typeface design. Older fonts with updated flourish are going to be big this year and likely for the next few as well.
Our Top 3 Trusted Premium Foundries on the net today.
It’s an inherent contradiction of great design that the best things usually go unnoticed. Even people who name the font after themselves – Eric Gill, of Gill Sans, for example – are barely known outside a small circle. Hannes Von Döhren, founder of HVD Fonts, as clearly taken this to heart, naming the whole company after himself. Maybe it’ll work.
Their best creation is Brandon Grotesque, a sans serif font which artfully combines an art-deco-ish 1920s aesthetic with a readability that makes it perfect for the digital era – virtually the holy grail of 21st century font design. It’s no wonder it won the 2011 TDC2 Award. A few letters – the lower case ‘g’ and ‘p’, for example, have ever-so-slight serifs which make this otherwise rounded font very pleasing to the eye, whether on a smart phone or a desktop PC.
(HVD Fonts | Source MyFonts.com)
Having done the day job with ‘Brandon’, HVD show off an ability to craft an ultra-modern, ultra-weird font, in ‘Diamonds‘, which has a frankly crazed-looking ‘R’. It’s clear that they looked at the whole ‘going unnoticed’ ethos from my first paragraph and decided that was for dorks. It’d look fantastic on the gatefold LP of your favourite weird electropop band. The spiky speechmarks are a delight, although with the dot inside the ‘O’, it’s hard to suppress the sensation that as you gaze at this font, it’s gazing back…
Mark Simonson has been designing fonts for years but didn’t release one until 1992. He went on to design Proxima Nova, a wonderfully consistent-looking font – I particularly like the way the extra-bulbous lowercase ‘d’ – weird on its own – blends in perfectly next to the ‘e’s and ‘a’s, while the dead flat brace of the lowercase ‘e’ offsets the roundness of the over vowels. The font looks particularly great in ALLCAPS, where the letters that would be capitalised in a normal text stand slightly above the others.
(Mark Simson Fonts | Source MyFonts.com)
Simonson’s magical Mostra Nuova goes all out on the art-deco style that HVD’s Brandon Grotesque only hinted at. Like most deco-ish fonts, we prefer the capitals to the lowercase letters (the ‘n’ and the ‘u’ in particular strike me as weirdly narrow). The great thing about this font is the way it transforms almost completely depending on the weight used, from the spectral ‘thin’ to the stonking ‘Black’ while retaining its readability.
Linotype remains the biggest name in fonts, having designed the ubiquitous Helvetica. It’s been imitated so much and is so familiar – and, like Times New Roman before it, almost boring, now – that it’s extraordinary to see it in its compressed form, where it shows its flexibility: It looks almost like Impact!
(Linotype | Source MyFonts.com)
However, Linotype doesn’t end with Helvetica. Univers, with its square dots for ‘i’ and ‘j’ and quirkily-tailed ‘Q’ demonstrates a stunning consistency across every letter while retaining the ease of use of Helvetica. It looks great on a screen, and works as well as a bold title as it does making up the body of a text.
(JW Fonts | Source MyFonts.com)
Hopefully, this quick Foundry Review has revealed a few gems (or Diamonds? Sorry) to a wider audience, whether you’re looking to fill out a CV or a nightclub.