Typography is the study of letter forms and their use. Typography and image are the most important parts of graphic communication, this is how we can communicate or convey the message. There are endless possibilities to combine words and images in different ways. Which method is most appropriate is determined by context and message.
We can divide the typography into two different ways of using the typography. We distinguish between invisible and visible typography. Examples of invisible typography can be a book page, magazine or in other contexts where you do not want the design to take attention away from the content. This type of typography should make it easier for the reader to read the text.
The visible typography instead works to reinforce the message and content through different colors and strong capital letters that are arranged in an eye-catching way. It can be in an advertisement, comic book with its markings in the text, or another context where you want to strengthen or attract attention.
A font consists of a complete alphabet with letters, numbers and characters in a common implementation. Lowercase (lower case), Uppercase (uppercase), Capitals (uppercase but at the same x-height as lowercase; used to mark words or abbreviations in running text so as not to deviate too much from the text and thus stop reading), Numbers (both for running text and tables), different forms of characters used in a text.
When choosing fonts, readability and congeniality should be taken into account(to fit the context). Readability is affected by which font we choose. A font we are used to reading increases readability. The character of the paper affects how the font does e.g. an uneven paper requires a thicker font so that certain parts of the letters do not fall out when printed or the shadows that may form in the roughness are confused with the lines that make up the letters. Congeniality is about what message different types of fonts convey or radiate and in what situation or context they are best suited. There, the recipient’s experience and values are important aspects to take into account when choosing fonts. There are different families of fonts. The most common belong to the families Antikvor and Sanserifer.
The antiques have serifs or heels and the design varies between thick base lines and thin hair lines. Used for running text where high readability is desired. Through their variation of the lines (swellings), the letters get a larger individual character. The serifs bind the letters together and give the lines a kind of line or rail that helps the reader through the text and the lines.
Linear, also called Sanserifer, has a more powerful construction and does not vary in thickness in the same way as Antikvorna and lacks serifs. They have a poorer individual character and are best suited as headings or shorter text. They can be easier to read than Antikvorna in contexts where you see them from a distance, e.g. signs and posters.
A distinction is made between open and closed Linear. The closed ones have an inward direction of movement that makes them difficult to read as that movement stops reading. The open ones are easier to read as the direction of movement leads the reader forward through the text.
Mechanics were developed during the 19th century and are common in e.g. poster context. Could be described as Linear with serifs.
Scripts have the character of handwriting. Used in special contexts such as menus, invitation cards. When you might want an elegant or personal touch to the text.
Imagination styles are different fonts that are used in very special contexts e.g. for a logo or a trademark.
Screen fonts are designed to suit the special conditions of the computer screen. The screen’s luminous background requires powerful fonts that are easy to read in that context.
When deciding which font to use determines the context and the typography should help to make the text easy to read. The antiques are best suited for a longer running text as they, with their greater variety, make it easier for the reader to perceive the words. A variation of lowercase and uppercase letters that normally make up a regular running text also increases the variation.
When we read a word or a text, we do not read letter by letter, but the eyes put them together into pictures of words – word pictures. Since we only see clearly when the eyes are still, it is important that it is easy to move the eyes along the lines. At each stop, we perceive the fixed word and the surrounding words as word pictures. The movement and stopping of the eyes through the text is called saccadic movements. It is this movement through the text that should be facilitated to increase readability. The antiquities’ serifs not only help to bind the letters together into word pictures, but they form a “rail” that makes it easier for the reader to follow the lines.
The size of the letters or the degree of character also affects the readability. The dimension of the character degree is stated in mm or points. A point (p) is 0.376 mm. A normal letter height is usually around 10-12 points for a regular running text (body text). The text is divided into headings, intermediate headings and body text. To determine the relationship between the degree of character for the different parts, one usually starts from the golden ratio, which is an old mathematical way of creating relationships between different dimensions. In mathematics and geometry, this number has been arrived at, which is thought to represent a harmonious aspect ratio. Simplified, one can say that something (eg the size of a body text relates to the intermediate heading based on its size times 1.6 (eg a body text of 10 points x 1.6 = 16 points for the middle heading, 16 x 1, 6 = 25, 6 points for the heading) or 0.6 for a decreasing size ratio. You can also print the proportions as 3: 5: 8: 13: 21: 34 etc. (each new number added is the sum of the previous two).
Line spacing and line length
The distance between the lines also affects the readability. The row spacing is specified in a measure called a cone. For example. the ratio 10/12 means that the character degree is 10 points and the distance between the baselines of the lines (the cone) is 12 points, ie. 2 points of air between the rows. In general, a cone 1 or 2 points larger than a degree of character is considered a normal line spacing and promotes readability. When it comes to the length of the lines – the column width or the sentence width – a common rule is that it should be between 55 and 65 strokes (all letters, characters and word spaces are counted). A longer line makes it difficult for the reader to find their way back to the beginning of the next line. A shorter one can create a choppy or jumpy impression for the reader, it can also create large spaces between the words, especially if the text is marginally adjusted. Too large word spaces cause the eye to jump between the lines instead of following them.
How to arrange the text in columns and how to adjust it depends on what you want to achieve and in what context the text is included. What influences the choice can be requirements for readability, desired typographic form, the message itself, etc. The different ways to adjust a text are:
Left -handed, even left-hand edge and uneven right-hand edge. Suitable for small sentence widths to avoid too many hyphens, which facilitates readability. It gives a free impression and is used in magazines, advertisements etc.
Right-handed smooth right edge and uneven left edge. Creates poor readability as it makes it difficult for the reader to find their way back to the beginning of the next line. Does not occur very often but can be used for captions that are placed to the left of the image and where you want a smooth edge to the image. But can also occur where you want to achieve a special typographic effect.
Centered a symmetrical arrangement where the text relates to a common center axis (equal width on both sides of the center axis for each row). Used carefully for short texts: book covers, menus, invitation cards etc.
Margin adjusted Smooth right and left edges. Provides a varying distance between the words, especially if the sentence width is short. Can give so-called channels that lead the eye on stray paths as the white surfaces that are formed break the feeling that the lines flow on as on a rail. Used in books, magazines, brochures, catalogs, etc.
Paragraph division A new paragraph can be marked by making an indent, but this is not done after a heading. You can also use an initial to mark the beginning of a text. An anfang is a beginning letter that differs from the running text by size and / or style.
In some texts, a space is made between the paragraphs to mark them. It can work in a compact factual text to make it easier for the reader to orient themselves in the body of text. This is also done on websites so that the text is not perceived as impenetrable, especially as we relate to texts on the web in a more fleeting way than we do to a printed text in a book or magazine. On the other hand, it is less suitable in an ongoing fictional text where fluency in reading is sought – each space creates a break in reading.
When disposing of body text and headings, one should strive for a heading that belongs to a paragraph to have a shorter distance than it is between the previous paragraph and the following heading. This is to mark what belongs to what and that you get a pause or breathing space between the parts of the text.
Individual words and characters
To increase attention to different words or characters, it can be a technical term or a new concept that is presented in the text, you can highlight or reinforce this in different ways. The most common way is to mark it in italics, it stops our reading without hindering it. Making the words half-fat is another way. However, it can be a little too powerful in a fictional text but effective in a fact book as you can easily identify different concepts that have been highlighted. Using capitals gives an elegant and low-key impression.
In a factual text, fatter style is sometimes used for technical terms or other important concepts as a way to help the reader find what they are looking for in the text.