Typography Basics

The nomenclature of a typeface is commonly called a 'Font', which we also use within BeFunky.  Typefaces are a collection of a certain style of type, wherein each character shares the same design attributes but can vary in specific styles. Times New Roman or Papyrus, for example, are 'typefaces'. Times New Roman, Bold, Size 12, would be a 'font'.

Typography ExamplesDespite this technicality, outside of the professional graphic design world 'font' is used as a universal term for the name of a typeface. In BeFunky when we refer to adding your own fonts, we're referring to the addition of a typeface into your collection.

Typographic Classifications:

There are three main kinds of typefaces you'll see used: serif, sans-serif and script (or decorative).

Serif Typefaces
Serif typefaces are named after the extensions at the end of a character line, which are called 'serifs'. Times New Roman is the most well-known example of a serif typeface.

Sans-Serif Typefaces:

Sans Serif Typefaces“Sans-serif” typefaces lack the serif extensions. Sans-serif has quickly become one of the most popular styles of typefaces to use, based on it's minimalist qualities and readability. 

Script Typefaces“Script” typefaces often emulate the look of hand-written text, imitating varying thickness and fluidity.

Their appearance is more casual and informal, often giving the feel of something hand-crafted and personal. Scripts are typically decorative and should not be used for longer paragraphs of text.

Pro Tip:

Design theory recommends using a maximum of three fonts in a project, but preferably two. More than this and your design will be cluttered and hard to read.

Pairing Different Styles of Text:

A good rule of thumb when pairing typefaces is to use one style for header and one for the body. For example, try a sans-serif header with a serif body, or a script header with a sans-serif body. Scripts or decorative styles work well for a header font, but should not be used in the body text. 

Pairing Different Styles of FontsText Hierarchy:

Similar to pairing different text styles, in general you'll want to keep your text styles following the same patterns of classification depending where they are in text. For example, keep all titles and headers to one type of font, and keep captions or body text to another. This creates a streamlined look in your design that makes it easy to follow.

Letter Spacing and Line height:

Letter spacing, not surprisingly, refers to the distance between the letters in your text box. This term is also called 'kerning' in the professional design world.

Variations on Text SpacingLine height is the space between lines of text. You're able to adjust this height depending on the needs of your design. 

In BeFunky, you can control both of these by clicking on your text, then in the 'Text Properties' box click on the 'Spacing' icon next to the color selector. You'll see adjustment sliders for both Letter Spacing and Line Height. Move them around until you get the results you're looking for. 

Takeaways:

Understanding typography allows you to take your designs to the next level by really showing your brand, and having these typography basics at your disposal give you the tools to best express yourself. While designing your text, keep the following priorities in mind:

- How readable is my text?
- Is my text styling consistent?
- Do my text styles complement each other?

Learn more about using the Text Tool and get started with your next creations!

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