8 Time Tested Ways to Create Impressive Typography in Design

by Keval Padia on April 27, 2016

The modern web is always changing, and this article is more than two years old.

Typography in Design

Eye-catching design invariably always has good typography, almost always. This is particularly true in the UIs where text content takes the most space. The most important thing about the right typeface in UI design is the synergy produced by typeface as part of the whole UI. This makes it obvious that the effect of typography will not be bigger than the combined effect of the UI. Only great designer can approach the content more as a component of user interface allowing perfect synergy of typeface and design elements.

Creating user optimized typography allows enhanced readability and balance in the UI as a graphic element. From addressing size aspects to offering a balance with positioning, visual hierarchy and structure to removing the friction between the interface and viewer, all these combined together help creating impressive typography in UI design.

Let us introduce below 8 most time tested ways to create impressive typography in design.

1. Less is still more for UI typeface

For UX, typography plays a critical role in allowing visual hierarchy. It is advisable to keep fonts not just simple but to use capital letters only where it is absolutely needed. Always make sure that the fonts used are sync with your purpose, context and target audience. An effective measure in this respect would be using only a couple of fonts in your homepage. Furthermore, always make sure that the right weights and heights of these selected fonts are used.

2. Instead of “look at me,” make typeface say “look at this”

A typeface can create a lasting impression separately but when implemented in the UI it can be distracting for the users and can cause friction between the user and UI. So using visually attractive fonts is not just enough. The visually appealing typeface may at the same time distract from the necessary instructions that they are supposed to convey.

Often an utterly unflashy and thoroughly impersonal font can serve your purpose better. There few important considerations like the scalability, versatility, etc. Whether the typeface scales up and down incredibly well and offers perfect readability is a big consideration. It should offer perfect look and feel in both large and very small text. It should be versatile enough to go well with a wide range of weights and styles. But the biggest consideration is it should not distract the attention to the font but rather it should help guiding focus to what is being said. The typeface in any way should not say “look at me” with characteristic design but it should always serve the content by saying “look at this”.

3. Choose a typeface that works well in various sizes

A majority of UIs need texts of various sizes for diverse purposes including button copy, field labels, headers, etc. Naturally, you need to select a typeface that goes well with multiple size requirements and helps to maintain optimum readability and usability across various sizes.

There are certain typefaces that look great in large size and offer easy readability. But typefaces with very sleek or thinner letterforms or ornamental designs may look non-clear or can just break down at smaller sizes. Ensuring optimum readability in both small and large sizes is crucial for selecting fonts in UI.

4. Treat text as UI

There are many above average and good designers who treat text as valuable content. But still there are great web designers who treat text always as UI. Treating text as UI elements presupposes some positive approaches in relation to typeface. The text can represent a functional element and then it is an UI element. Just think of the simple instruction like ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’ at doors and how they serve a functional purpose.

5. White and negative space

Your home page should be absolutely free of clutter to make the typeface offer full prominence to your content. You need not put it all out there at once. You should focus on one element at a time with lot of white or negative space around.

Negative space can very often be the best friend of a designer. It guarantees some visual relief for the website visitor. Lot of space around a text gives prominence, clarity and readability to text.

6. Offer consistent typeface

Often taking customers through a seamless home page experience requires lot of meditations. It is mission critical for brands to offer consistent user experience and in that regard typeface play a crucial role. You cannot make a clutter with too many types of fonts, styles and accompanying colors. It would only create confusion and sometimes even can make finding the CTA buttons challenging.

Secondly, consistency in typeface is also important for creating a brand identity. It allows making a specific style flow throughout a website referring to the style, color and fonts normally associated with the brand. To ensure a cohesive website and customer experience always review each homepage section separately.

7. Give your typeface the brand voice

Marketers always insist on delivering a distinct brand voice through their campaigns. But it becomes pointless if their company website fail to deliver user experience without this voice. First of all, the typeface should be clear, relevant and visible across any device, but at the same time it should be in sync with your brand and voice of the company.

Typography often offers the surest way to add to your brand unmistakable personalities attribute. The fonts used for McDonald or Coca Cola or say, Google is typical of their brand identity and something to do with their value proposition. You can approach the problem from another way. Just think, in absence of the logo can anyone from the typeface alone decipher your brand? If yes, you are probably on the right track.

8. Typeface based on contexts and situations

Different user scenarios can be a guiding factor to determine the text to be used in your UI. For instance, how the typeface looks in an error message or in an alert message. Just like the text used in various areas of the site the fonts should also be differentiated as per user contexts and situations.

Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing android mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.

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