Choosing the Right Typeface

When it comes to graphic design, one usually only considers the “graphics” part of the process, but a typeface can make or break the entire project. It is our responsibility to aid in the reader’s viewing pleasure, not obstruct it. We also owe it to the typefaces (and the owners of the typefaces!) to not misuse them. But choosing the correct type can be tricky and a little bit daunting. Here are a few tips to help you select the right typeface for your designs.

 Jourdan Cunningham / Knowledge Jam

 Jourdan Cunningham / Knowledge Jam

First off, read the text that you are typesetting before choosing a font. Allowing yourself to read the text and absorb what it is saying can help you when you are making your decision. Usually if you are typesetting a paragraph, or even just a sentence, you want to stick with a simple font. Using a decorative or elaborate font may be distracting to the reader if what they are reading is more than a few words.

 Jourdan Cunningham / Knowledge Jam

 Jourdan Cunningham / Knowledge Jam

Secondly, figure out who your audience will be. Who will be reading your design? It is a good idea to choose a typeface that will grab the attention of the viewer and create interest. If you are designing for children a fun typeface would be a better choice than one that would be used for someone in the professional world such as a doctor or lawyer.

 Jourdan Cunningham / Knowledge Jam

 Jourdan Cunningham / Knowledge Jam

Now, here comes the big question: serif or sans serif? Usually, there is no right or wrong answer. It all comes down to preference; some people prefer serif, some prefer sans serif. The main thing you can do is go with what you feel best fits with the mood of your design.

 Jourdan Cunningham / Knowledge Jam

 Jourdan Cunningham / Knowledge Jam

Last but not least, once you have typeset and feel as if you made the right decision, print it out! Believe it or not, some fonts look good on screen, but look horrible when printed and vice versa.