Everyday I am choosing and using fonts from our library of fonts. I’m always on the prowl for exciting, new fonts to use for our website designs, direct mail pieces, trade show graphics, logo designs, and more. From sans serif to serif fonts, text fonts to distressed fonts, and screen fonts (optimized for web viewing) to heavy fonts, I have used them all and enjoy each of their unique qualities.
Choosing the right font for a project is probably one of the most important steps during the graphic design process. Choose the wrong font and your design can be difficult to read, set the wrong mood, or fail to communicate the correct message. Imagine the chaos if all the traffic signs were set in a script font or handwritten font.
Here are a few general rules to follow when choosing the correct font:
1. Use serif fonts for a large amount of text. The serifs will help the eye move through the text quickly. Also, keep your line length reasonable and your leading (space between the lines of text) comfortable so the descenders and ascenders of the letters don’t connect.
2. When setting type for a billboard or large graphic, tighten up the kerning (space between the letters of a word). The tighter the kerning the easier it will be to read from a distance.
3. Don’t mess with the horizontal or vertical height of a font. If you need to keep your font large in a small width, choose a condensed font or if you need to fit a small word or words in a large width, choose an extended font.
There really is a font for every graphic design application and by following a few simple rules the font almost chooses itself!