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May 23

Why Is Typography Important?

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Whether you’re looking to create a warm, cozy connection between the user and brand, or aiming for clear, clean, and legible vibes (or both!), we’d like you to meet typography- your new best friend.

By unlocking your design skills to create original typefaces—or when working with existing typefaces, fonts, and letterforms—effective typography has the power to make the ideal user experience a quicker connection with the brand, holding their undistracted attention.

Like a hot, steaming plate of fajitas at a packed restaurant on a Friday night. Turning heads. Making everybody’s jaw drop.

Good typography also has the power to drive graphic balance, establish a visual hierarchy, and set the overall tone of a website, product, service, or brand.

When it comes to accessibility and readability (be sure you’re up on the latest legal elements of this as well- more on that below), certain aspects of typography can serve to optimize, inform, and guide the user, allowing for a more positive overall user experience. Which is always a good thing, of course!

At the end of the day, it’s about being able to communicate a message beyond the words themselves, making typography a key component of design.

Typography Creates Connection and Builds Brand Recognition

Let’s think about some brands that give you an immediate feeling or specific idea when you think of them. How about…

Gatorade- athleticism, hard work, thirst-quenching?

Quaker Oats- old fashioned, wholesome, healthy?

Jif peanut butter- playful, straightforward, parent-approved?

Levi’s- denim, sturdy, all-American?

Harley Davidson- rugged, hard-hitting, freedom?

While there are many things that go into developing a brand’s tone, voice, messaging, and logo, typography plays a huge role in what that ultimately looks like. That excited feeling you get when you spot the Amazon “smile” package on your doorstep? Totally intentional, my friend.

This is the power of typography design- the ability not only to strengthen a website or product’s personality but to also hold space for a subliminal connection with the brand.

Leading to a deeper, more immediate connection with the user; building trust, recognition, and encouraging word of mouth. Basically, it’s the best!

Typography Holds Users’ Attention

Given how short the average mere mortal’s attention span is, you’ve got a matter of seconds to attract and keep a user interested and engaged.

Type that’s memorable and captivating can impact things like how long a user spends on a website or sales page to how engaged they are with a particular product or offer.

Typography Influences Decision Making

You know when you’re walking down the wine aisle and your bougie self buys a bottle for the label? Make no mistake about it- a smart, brand-specific design was likely behind this!

Effective, eye-catching typography has the ability to express the essence and personality of a brand, create a specific mood or feeling within a user, and generate a sense of persuasion or urgency for the intended audience.

It’s downright magical.

Typography is a Key Component of User Interface

We know you know this but, you’ve got one shot at a first impression.

When a user lands on a webpage or opens an app for the first time, good typography in user interface design can mean the difference between an excellent first impression or a forgettable one.

Nobody wants to be forgettable! Right? Right.

Typography has a way of bringing an interface to life. Think of it this way- a messy interface can create confusion and turn a user away fast. But a clean, easy-to-read interface allows for a super-fun-time (see: optimal) user experience.

Typography Establishes a Visual Hierarchy and Harmony

Highlight what’s important by using different font sizes and types. This helps the audience quickly and easily understand what they should be paying more attention to.

Good visual hierarchy also uses paddings, margins, and contrast. Maintaining your chosen patterns and hierarchy throughout establishes continuity and harmony—creating an organized, uncluttered presentation.

In other words, you might need to Marie Kondo it!

Typography Optimizes Readability and Accessibility

As designers, it’s our responsibility to give consideration to people with learning disabilities, poor vision, dyslexia, aphasia, or low adult literacy. And all elements of typography directly impact readability and accessibility.

Accessible typography can determine legibility and assist the reader with things like finding the beginning of each line or understanding what to pay attention to.

Typographic elements are foundational for producing written information that is as accessible as possible.

Speaking of which, it’s important to keep up on the latest Web Accessibility Standards and Laws as well as ADA compliance. You don’t want to go breaking the law!

Ready to learn typography or push your design skills to the next level? Get more than six hours of video lectures, self-study assignments, design critique videos, and watch Chris work ‘over the shoulder,’ inside our most popular course yet: Typography 01.

Kristin Lajeunesse

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