What is Typography?
And Why is it so Important to Graphic Designers?
Because everything you touch, see and create is impacted by the use of writing styles and techniques.
By understanding the underlying message that your choice of text contains, you will become more effective as you design and layout projects containing words and phrases. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but you have to know a thousand words to replace it.
Typography is the art and process of arranging type for a variety of media purposes and is made up of several parts. Take a look at the image below. Depending on the font style some or all of these parts will always be present.
Let’s Understand the Basics of Typography.
- The Type Size, also called the Cap Height, is the overall height of capital letters in the formation of words.
- The Ascender is the upward tail on letters like h, l, t, b, d, and k.
- The Descender is the downward tail for letters like g, q, and y.
- The Counter is the white space located inside letters like o and p.
- The X Height is the height of the letter, and does not include ascenders or descenders.
- Baselines are the boundary that the lowest part of the letter rests on. Take a look at the y, p, g, p and y letters in the illustration above. The solid line they are resting on is the baseline.
What’s the Importance of Kerning?
Have you ever seen a paragraph or advertisement that made the letters appear either s p a c e d w a y out or scrunched all up so it was hard to read? The effective use of kerning and leading will fix that problem. Kerning is the space located between individual letters of a word. If you can remember the kernels on an ear of corn, it’s easy. When the kernels of corn line up, it makes a nice neat row.
If the kerning is off, so will the appearance of the word or line of text you are working with and it will be harder to read.
Leading is the space between the lines of text. If you look at the illustration above, you will quickly notice the space between line one and two is too close, giving the impression of not enough space. By adjusting the amount of leading between lines, the text becomes much more readable and less pinched.
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