Typography is not only about the actual text and the type of font that is used, it’s also about how the text is laid out, the space between the characters, and the line spacing. Everything involved in arranging and presenting the words and characters on a piece of paper or online is bundled up in Typography.
We don’t need to become an expert in Typography, however appreciating the importance of the type of font being used, to the line spacing can help to guide a user’s emotion.
Serif vs San Serif
Serif means the small features that “curl’ or protrude from letters. The way I was taught is that serif means “feet” (which it doesn’t explicitly), so an example of a Serif font is Times New Roman. Sans (which means “without” in french) means “without feet”. A classic example of a sans-serif font is Arial.
Serif fonts are traditionally meant for the text that is part of the main body of content.
The “feet” supposedly help readers read the text hence why most books have serif fonts as the main content font.
A simple rule to keep in mind when using fonts in your designs is this;
- Don’t include more than 2 – 3 different font types on the one screen.
When you start to include fancy fonts in your work, either through custom development or using an authoring tool, we need to be mindful that the font may not be available on the end user’s computer. We need to “package” the font with our work so the font can be referenced when our users view our work.
This is where web fonts come in handy.
Here is a great primer on web fonts
Line spacing is an integral part of typography.
Not to get too caught up in the science behind line spacing, just that it’s worth knowing that line spacing can be adjusted in most text editors. If you feel that you need to adjust the line spacing because the lines are too close together and inhibiting on the experience, track down the line-spacing setting and adjust accordingly.