Typography Part 2 - this bit is all about formatting text 

 

Particularly when you have large amounts of text and need to wrangle it together into some sort of document or digital page. This is useful for blogs, newsletters, general web content or advertorials etc.

 

If you haven’t read part 1, Typography the basics - click here

So you’ve written some words, separated them into paragraphs, with headings and subheadings, maybe chucked in a few bullet points for good measure, a little grammar for a pause here and there and ran a spellcheck - what’s more to do?

 

Well, a little formatting goes a long way. Here’s a few tips to get you going.

 

Font

 

Now we learnt a little about fonts last time, but for the purpose of this blog it’s very simple - use a clear and legible font - don’t use something decorative or overly fancy unless it’s a headline or main title. Steer clear

of anything script like for body text - it should be easy on the eye and ooze simplicity - a serif or sans serif is perfect.

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Colour

 

Dark grey or black on white works fine - Contrast is the magic word when it comes to text on any background.

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Hierarchy

 

There’s a few ways to create hierarchy in body text, you can:  Isolate a small amount of text to draw more attention. Change the design of that particular part of the text to highlight it - a quote for example. Separate with a healthy amount of white space (I’ll go into this later) and use a different font or weight.

Alignment

 

Left to right is always best for paragraphs, its the natural way we read so our brains find it easy - Centred text sends the eye bouncing all over the place to find the beginning of a sentence and can be quite jarring.
But what is also important is to balance ragged lines - what that means is try to keep all lines a similar length. For website content its good to keep your lines shorter - as a rule 45-90 characters per line. Over 90 character and your audience might give up. I’m not sure why, I’m sure there’s a science behind it, but i haven’t actually conducted any research as of yet - this is just knowledge I’ve gained from experienced web designers.

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Avoid widows and orphans

 

Before you start judging, these are words used in typography and are not what they seem. A widow is where a word from a paragraph drops over onto another page and you are left with a slightly awkward word at the top of the page. An orphan is where the same happens within the same page. You can generally fix this by changing line widths sizes slightly.

Use white space wisely

 

White space is so important as it makes thing easy to read, it improves the user experience and everyone wants a satisfied reader. You can add space by separating headers from paragraphs with a couple of line spaces. You can increase white space between lines of text to give a cleaner appearance too.

 

Think about how your text interacts with objects and images

 

with Layer text over images with block coloured backgrounds to add interest - or to highlight some information, don’t do this over busy images as you will start to compromise the clarity of the text. You can also wrap text or play with positioning elements in front of or behind a portion of text. 

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FINBO DESIGNS

BLOG: Typography pt.2 Formatting text  26.11.2020

So that’s pretty much it… 

 

It my seem a little boring but using these tips can make your text appear a little more exciting - or at least improve your readers experience and help them to make from start to end without losing interest.

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