March 5, 2022

Typography 101: The Basics & Some of Our Favorite Fonts

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Learn how to make any design look irresistible using proper typography.

As one of the primary methods of communication, we digest written words on a daily basis. Whether it is on the phone, websites, the shop fronts, or the newspaper, the type is there. We automatically reflect on the written words that we do not consider what role does design play in giving the text a tone or a voice.

Behind the scenes, designers have to mull over the relationship between how the text looks and it is meaning. This is because the type choice can set the mood, atmosphere, and emotions of the text. In this article about typography 101, we will lift the lid and let you take a peek at everything that you must know about typography and how it can impact your brand. 

typography 101

What is Typography?

Kicking off the basics first on this typography 101, you need to be aware of what typography is.

In a nutshell, it is the process of letter arrangement including texts so to come up with a clear, legible, and visually appealing copy. It involves choosing the appropriate font style, appearance, and structure where the goal is to be able to convey a specific message and elicit a proper emotion. Typography brings the text to life as it makes the words easy to read, engaging, and look suitable to the rest of the design.

Typography can be considered as art by itself and is an important skill that every graphic and web designer has to master. It is central to any kind of design whether it be in print or digital form. More than communicating a certain tone and sentiment of a design, typography also promotes legibility. With regards to graphic design, typography completes the process of having a visually-appealing design that is both neat and easy to look at. Using typography effectively avoids straining the eyes which is important if you want appreciation from the audience.

Why typography is important?

Knowing why it is essential is also a basic in typography 101, so with no further ado, here’s why typography is a great tool in making any design look irresistible:

typography 101
It builds brand recognition

Good typography typically enhances the design’s personality. When incorporating it into a design, people can create associations with your brand. They begin to recognize the consistent use of typography style thus establishing a strong user following. This would further progress into building trust and will be a good foundation for bringing your brand forward.

It influences decision-making

As the audience can digest and perceive the correct information that is conveyed by a text, typography creates a profound effect that goes beyond aesthetics. It reinforces the meaning of the written words thereby making them more persuasive.

It holds attention

Eye-catching typography could be a key to making a user focus on the rest of the design. this means that you can hold attention enough to make a lasting impression. With good typography, you can make a visually-appealing design that is also memorable. 

Typography is all-over! From table napkins, to books, to order boxes, coffee cups, to menus, banners, posters, billboards, it’s everywhere. Even if it seems it seems trivial, a little adjustment makes big difference to the impact that the design delivers.

Typography plays a huge role in branding and marketing. From giving out product information down to the packaging, your choice of typography can make or break your brand identity. In essence, typography is an essential ingredient that completes the brand identity that you need to establish. 

More than an accessory to complement a design, however, typography can be the brand itself. This is why you have to hit all the marks if you want to have effective typography in your design.

How to Use Typography Effectively

Humans are naturally drawn to visually attractive designs. This goes without saying that people tend to favor an aesthetic, clean, and easy to read the text over one that looks busy and straining to read.

Check out below the different fundamental concepts that have to be considered when deciding on typography for design:

typography 101
Use of Typography

1. Typeface

A typeface is a design style or a family of fonts that consists of many characters in different sizes and weights. It is like a group of related fonts, such as Helvetica, Proxima Nova, Times New Roman, and Arial.

2.  Font

Contrary to what most people assume, typeface and fonts are not interchangeable. A font is a variety of a typeface. The typeface Proxima Nova, for example, has Proxima Nova Light Italic, Proxima Nova Medium Italic, Proxima Nova Bold, Proxima Nova Black, Proxima Nova Regular, and Proxima Nova Semibold Italic as its fonts.

Font Anatomy

A lesson in typography 101 is not complete unless you know about  font anatomy. Knowing the different parts of a font is crucial to a designer because it will serve as a guide in choosing the best fonts for a specific project or goal. The font has a letterform or the shape of a letter. It also has a baseline or an imaginary line where fonts sit and where descenders extend. The next component is the stroke which can either be a straight line segment or a curved/rounded line that follows the letterform. Finally, you have the stem or the main stroke of the character that is not constrained with any upright segments.

Font Pair

Another important aspect to consider when choosing a font is staying true to a seamless design through font pairing. Having multiple fonts in a single project can help add visual appeal and make the design stand out. However, it is discouraged to pick fonts at random since it can cause conflicts. It is a must that you can combine fonts that complement each other to make a harmonious design. An easy way to do this is to stick with fonts that are within the same family to achieve a cohesive look. You may also use contrast by having a chunky font together with a skinnier one. Create hierarchy by controlling the spaces between characters or kerning. Another option that works is by highlighting the heading with a decorative font then getting a traditional one for the body, or doing a reverse of this. As for what to avoid when pairing, try not to have fonts that are too similar. Again, contrast is your focus when pairing fonts, and too similar fonts will give the text a monotonous tone. While on this beat, you also have to avoid choosing fonts that are too different. Contrast is important but it is another story if the fonts are incompatible together. The last thing to note about pairing fonts is that you need to make sure that everything looks legible. Font pairings are meant to improve content but people will not be interested to read something that they struggle to decipher. Ensure that the fonts will look clear on any platform.

Most Used Fonts

Choosing fonts is as exciting as sharing a story for the first time. You can’t wait to have people appreciate how well you deliver the message using beautiful fonts. Here’s a list of some of our top-rated fonts that you can also use for your next project:

Sofia-pro font

1. Sofia-pro, sans-serif What makes this font special is that it is great to use for headlines, subheads, and captions because it looks both pragmatic and friendly.

Poppins font

2. Poppins, sans-serif Because of its clean and open feel, this font is the best choice if you want to improve the readability of texts.

Montserrat font

3. Montserrat This font exudes geometric simplicity which suits any content that you want to use to evoke a feeling of trust.

Helvetica font

4. Helvetica As the world’s most popular font, Helvetica is great if you want to create a neutral expression in your content. 

Rockwell font

5. Rockwell This classic slab serif or Egyptian-style font is an excellent choice if you want to reinforce an established image.

3. Styles

Letters can be written in different shapes and styles but the three major font categories are as follows:

  • Serif- Inspired by traditional calligraphy, the Serif style is distinctly characterized by its smooth and rounded forms.
  • Sans Serif- This font style still has the same calligraphic influence but with a minimal weight variation.
  • Cursive- Imitating a handwritten script, the cursive style can be both formal and messy, depending on whether it follows a calligraphic or handwritten styling.

4. Characters and Glyphs

A glyph can either be a letter, numeral, or a symbol and is considered as a basic block in typesetting. It can be added to create a decorative feel to the letters, especially when you are trying to emphasize something, like the start of a paragraph.

The Rules of Typography Design

Typography is a timeless art and knowing the rules in designing them will make you aware of the more effective ways of using fonts to add structure to any text content in your design.

typography 101
Type Anatomy

1. Sizes  

It matters to have the proper font sizes, especially when you are making promotional materials. A large font size suggests stronger feelings which is the reason why it is applied on sections that are to be emphasized.

2. Alignment 

It is extremely important to create a balance between paragraphs. Minding the alignment allows the reader to take a break and adjust to the subsequent lines. In short, aligning properly improves readability while still maintaining the aesthetic quality.

3. Spacing 

Consider adding enough white spaces in between sections to let the words breathe and lessen the strain to read the text. It should feel open and light and not too tight to suggest the relationship between elements.

4. Kerning 

Make sure to adjust the spaces between characters to avoid inconsistent spacing that could destroy the rest of the aesthetics. Try to keep kerning consistent throughout words or phrases.

5. Leading 

Having multiple text lines can be crucial as it can discourage the reader. Avoid this from happening by adding appropriate lead values between lines. This would help make the text look legible and still comfortable to read.

6. Grids 

Using a design grid is important to ensure logical and visual harmony. This would make the texts look cohesive and interrelated.

7. Visual Hierarchy 

There are lines of text that are more significant than others. Bringing typographic hierarchy into play guides the eyes towards acknowledging the most important pieces of information in the design.

The Power of Typography

Addressing the benefits of good typography and its impact on the audience will encourage designers to be more careful in choosing which typeface and fonts to add to a design. Being able to properly execute typography can help achieve goals aside from giving the viewers a pleasing time reading the text parts.

typography 101
Typography 101

But why put countless hours using typography as an aesthetic strategy? Here are the reasons why:

It evokes the right emotion while delivering a message.

A graphic design is related to visual communication. Typography heightens the meaning of the design more legibly and clearly. By having strong fonts, the audience will be able to get notice and fully understand the important messages.

It influences the decision-making process.

Typography can help create a positive impact. By being creative with your fonts, you get to encourage a certain impression on the viewer. This would make communication a lot more effective and will tip the odds in the direction that you want to lead the viewer.

It improves readability.

As visual beings, most people find it challenging to be entertained with text content. Typography draws attention to the design in a way that the reader gets to be encouraged to appreciate the message of the design as a whole. It makes the text areas stand out without making straining the eyes too much.

It creates an information hierarchy.

Creating a visual hierarchy allows the reader to identify which part of the design is the most important piece of information that they need to understand.

It builds brand recognition and trust.

Typography reinforces the personality of the brand. It can make the design playful, youthful, mysterious, warm, etc. By using typography properly, you can effectively convey brand values without being blatant in the process of doing so.


As one of the most gratifying components of design, it helps to know that typography can help enrich the meaning of your design. It is your responsibility to learn all the ins and outs of typography if you want to make your text persuasive. This is crucial if you are trying to use it as a part of your branding effort.

Promoting a brand involves creating visual content that is both eye-catching and well-put-together. Typography is the heart of this process because of its contribution to making the finished design striking and engaging. It is more than typing a pretty font, however, as it also involves a lot of work and techniques.

Typography is both a skill and art that you need to practice and spend time mastering. By understanding the different principles of typography and through practice, there is no reason why you will not be able to develop a good eye for it. This would result in improving your decision-making skills when it comes to making strategic design choices.