Use space to improve your design. There’s the space around blocks of text – margins. And there’s the space between elements of text – tracking and leading. Tracking is the space between letters. Leading is the space between lines. If tracking and leading are too tight, words appear cramped and are harder to distinguish from one another. If tracking and leading are too loose, units of text fall apart into separate units. Use enough space to help text rest gracefully on the page and breathe, but not so much space that it weakens the relationships between separate pieces and they drift apart.

tracking3

leading

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Limit the number of fonts you use in a single project. If you combine too many fonts they’re almost certain to draw attention away from the content of the words and pictures. Instead use variations of one font.

All of the variations below are of the font Gil Sans.

fontfamily

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Whether you’re designing for a book or a presentation choosing the right type face is important. The font you choose helps shape the tone of what you create. As with any endeavor, it helps to have a trusted resources you can always turn to.

Here are my go to serif and sans serif fonts … and a few I steer clear of.

serif

sanserif

stylized

Serif and san serif and the most common kinds of fonts. Serif fonts have a classic feel. Sans serif fonts set a contemporary tone. Decorative or display fonts have a great deal more flair and are generally best used for signage; it takes the right project and a great designer to use them well in other applications. Design is typically best used as a support for content, not a distraction from it or a substitute for it.

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Choose a font that sets an appropriate tone for your content. Your choice of font is like choosing an accent for words to be read in.

Read this quote in these six fonts.

charlemagne

garamond

futura

handwritingdakota

mesquite

Did the font influence the way you hear them in your head and ultimately how you interpret and react to them?

Fonts shape your experience of words. Choose them wisely.

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