Design Typography: What it is and Why it Really, Really Matters

If you have a business, a blog, or a website, there’s information you want to communicate to your potential customers and your audience. Everyone assumes that doing this is as simple as typing or printing words out on a page. I mean, words are words. Type them and people will read them, right?

Wrong. As every graphic designer knows, design typography plays a huge part in whether your audience will spend time actually reading your content or move on past it. When it comes to grabbing people’s attention, you only get one chance.

What is Design Typography?

On a basic level, graphic designers use design typography to make written words readable. Ever see someone with a tattoo that consists of words in a size or font that make them impossible to read? That’s an example of bad design typography.

On an artistic and marketing level, typography is used to make your content appealing to a target audience. You see, there’s a lot more to putting your written material out there than simply choosing a font and a size. Graphic designers are experienced in choosing things such as typeface, type font, line length, and point size. To a layperson, these sound like insignificant details. But these choices can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of things like websites, logos, and brochures. 

Consistency Matters

When a designer works to lay out your content—choosing your type font, carefully spacing out characters, and aligning everything in a precise manner—they’ll work to make sure the overall feel of the material is consistent with the message you wish to communicate. A website for an investment firm, for instance, will want to communicate a very serious, professional vibe to potential clients. Meanwhile, owners of a daycare will want a site that demonstrates professionalism, but that also has a sense of childlike fun. You wouldn’t want to invest money with a company that has a website all laid out in comic sans font; nor would you likely leave your child at a daycare that has a website that’s bizarrely designed in an Old English font. Both of these choices would be inconsistent for the businesses they represent.

Also important? Consistency throughout the entire body of the work. Especially with a website, you’ll want the look to be the same—one that will capture your audience and keep them scrolling—through your entire page. Typography, careful choice of web fonts, as well as strategic layout will not only draw people in; it will keep them clicking.

Amaze Your Audience with Typography Art

Typography can be used for much more than communicating a straightforward message. In typography art, words are used to form an actual picture. Sometimes these are pretty straightforward and simple, but typography art images can also be incredibly complex, with a variety of words arranged to create detail and shading. This is a wonderful way to captivate your audience and cause them to spend time exploring the image, marveling at all of the words that were used to build it. 

As it turns out, effective design typography really can be the difference between people paying attention to what you have to say or moving on to someone else’s message that makes a better first impression. This article just covered the basics. Want to learn more about design typography? Stay tuned for an upcoming article in which we’ll discuss the 10 best types of fonts to grab your audience’s attention.