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Good typography can add tremendous power to your design and your message, whether it is a print- or screen-based project, a still or motion graphic, a 3D or 2D graphic. This course explains good typographic practices, so that you can develop an "eye" for type and understand how to effectively use it. Author Ina Saltz explains type classifications (serif vs. sans serif, display type vs. text type), how type is measured, sized, and organized, and how spacing and alignment affect your design. She also explains how to use kerning, tracking, leading, and line length, and covers the history and current trends in typography. The course teaches the principles of legibility, readability, and compatibility, and how they should be considered when you're selecting and designing with type.
Perhaps at this point you're thinking that typography has so many rules and standardized practices and principles. Well, you're right, but any body of knowledge has its rules. If you were learning to play the piano, you would first have to learn to read the musical notation. Then you would have to practice at a very basic level, playing scales over and over again until they were exactly right. Eventually, you might learn to play a complex piece of music, and you'd have to work to hit every note until the piece was perfect.
Then and only then would you know enough to begin to interpret that piece of music by allowing it to become more expressive, seen through the prism of your own experience. Like any other field, typography has its conventions and rules. You must know and learn to follow those rules. Yet, some of the most wonderful and effective designs completely violate those rules. One of my teachers Donald Jackson put it this way, all rules can be broken in divinely successful ways.
You can learn from those who have successfully broken the rules, but it does no good to try to copy them. Understand that the reason they have been able to break the rules successfully is that they know the rules inside and out. So my advice to you is learn the rules, but keep your eyes open for examples of wonderful designs that have successfully broken those rules. Look at them critically to understand why they have been able to make that leap. And when you are ready, don't be afraid to be daring. Remember, it's not brain surgery, and there is rarely only one solution to a design problem, so be bold.
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