This week I turned my attention to font design, and the subtle power typography can hold over designers and readers alike. Upon some research, I discovered that fonts have significant power in conveying the tone of a publication. For example, the basic newscopy font Times New Roman conveys a professional journalistic tone, that makes longer pieces of writing easier to read. Comic Sans, on the other hand, conveys a fun, non-serious tone, suitable for a piece of writing targeted towards children.
I also learnt the difference between ‘serif’ and ‘san serif’ fonts, where serif fonts feature small decorative pieces on the end of each character and san serif fonts do not. According Schriver’s study, readers prefer serifs for continuous prose.
The importance of consistency in text design was also highlighted in my research, with emphasis on keeping variants in text design to a minimum. For example, using two fonts: one font for a publication’s headings and another for it’s body, is acceptable. Fonts should not change throughout a publication – choose two and stick with them. Any more and a reader may get distracted. In addition, captions, bullets, spacing and indents should all be identical throughout a publication to avoid design confusion. Consistency is very important.
As described in my earlier post, The Power of Design, black text on white stock is the easiest design to read, and should be used in most instances.
With basic text design principles in mind, I chose two fonts to use in my blog, which would successfully convey Iridescent’s (and my personal) tone – creative, vibrant, insightful, serious but not too serious, with a mix of modern and traditional magazine thinking and styling. I want readers of Iridescent to see me as a magazine journalist – someone who understands the modern trends of magazine styling and writing.
For my headings, I chose League Gothic, described by its creators as a “revival of an old classic”. I love the boldness of the font – it portrays class, sophistication and edginess, with a mix of past and present styles. As a sans serif font, League Gothic allows words to stand out loud and proud – exactly what is necessary in a header font. See below for an example of League Gothic.
For my body text, I chose Droid Serif, described as a “contemporary serif typeface family designed for comfortable reading on screen”, which mirrors what basic text principles consider appropriate for a body text. I felt that Droid Serif was a friendly, basic yet sophisticated font that allowed a readers eyes to flow naturally through my blog. In addition, “Droid Serif is slightly condensed to maximize the amount of text displayed on small screens”, which suits the narrow design of my blog theme. Droid Serif sells itself as a font suitable for magazine design, and suits my blog’s tone perfectly. See below for an example of Droid Serif.