10 Rules for Using Text in your design

If there’s text in your design, you should know these rules of using text. Each rule can help your design for catching more attentions.

Know the font’s personality

Every font has a personality. And people like some personalities better than others. So what’s the rule here? Know your audience, know your design’s purpose, and pick a font that matches your audience’s expectations and your design’s purpose. Get this rule wrong, and you’ve ruined the entire design.

Avoid default fonts

If you use the default fonts, you’re telling the world that you didn’t know there are any other options. Times New Roman and Calibri aren’t bad fonts. They are just overused. Go back to #Rule 1 and think about personality. Could there be something better than the default? In most cases, the answer is yes.

Use two fonts

Most designs look better if you use more than one font. But few look good if you use more than three. So what do you need to remember? No matter what the design is, try using Two Fonts – one font for the headings and another font for the body text. It will make your text pop so much more than just using one.

Contrast font families

While it is good to use two fonts, it is bad to use two fonts that look like each other. So pick two fonts that come from different font families – serifs (like Times New Roman), san-serifs (like Arial), script (anything that looks like hand writing), or decorative. Make sure fonts look very different from each other.

Pay attention to size

Play with the size and your design will look better. The most important thing on the design should be the biggest size and other things should be smaller. Try matching the fonts, sizes and colors smoothly.

Don’t use All Caps if not necessary

We read words in shapes. That’s how our brain reads so fast. But when we write words in ALL CAPS, the shapes go away and words all turn into rectangles. So when you write out a bunch of words in all caps, it slows down reading. But using all caps in Title or important messages is ok.

Be careful with reverse type

Reverse type means you put a light color of text on a dark background or vice visa. Reverse type is good for headings and titles but not much else. If you use reverse type, be sure to have highly contrasting colors, never use blue on red, don’t use fonts with narrow or fancy features, and use fonts with heavy weights.

Adjust your line spacing

Line spacing, also called leading, is the space between lines. Most often, fonts are designed with line spacing slightly larger than their point size (if you have a 10-point font, the default is probably 12-point leading). Typically, that looks crowded with large bodies of text. Consider increasing line spacing to improve readability (but don’t increase it too much).

Pay attention to readability

Readability refers to how well large quantities of text (entire paragraphs) read. Readability is affected by font size, font type, leading (space between lines), kerning (space between letters), and line length. For better readability you should use serif and san serif fonts, don’t use script or decorative fonts, increase leading a bit, adjust kerning, if necessary, and use an ideal line length.

Understand your punctuation!

Punctuation has a powerful visual impact. While you should know how to use all fifteen punctuation marks we use in English, you should also know that you can break the rules with them. Use punctuation to break up sentences, offer personality and asides, develop personality, and create interest.

Zaw Min Tin

A Creative Designer by nature and an IronMan maniac. Founded Pixellion Creative with a team of quality designs to create awesome UI/UX designs.

Yangon, Myanmar http://zawmintin.com

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