Join John McWade for an in-depth discussion in this video Common mistakes, part of Learning to Set Display Type.
- Common display type mistakes could be a whole course in itself, so let me touch lightly on four. First up we've already seen: watch your spacing. Here's how your type sets by default. It just sprawls unattractively. There's no artistry, no rhythm, no beauty. The difference between this and display type is the care you put into working through the design letter by letter, until you get to this result.
Don't distort your type. It's sometimes tempting to squeeze or stretch tight to fit a space, but don't do it. Type as we've seen is art. It's been drawn very carefully by a skilled designer. Distorting it changes the proportions of its strokes and curves. Imagine doing this to the Mona Lisa. Sure, you can still see it, like when your TV picture gets distorted, but you take away its essential beauty.
If you need wider type, use a wider typeface. There are a lot of choices out there. Many type families have wide and narrow versions. Limit your typefaces. Remember that every change of face is a change of voice. If you want 20 voices, use 20 faces, but that's a lot of noise. Usually one, maybe two, plus the style nuances of italics, caps, and so on, is plenty.
Start with one, and add more only if necessary. And finally, go easy on the special effects. I'd recommend using none at all. Again, remember that type is already art work. Letter forms themselves are carefully crafted and beautiful. Remember too, that you're a designer and not a decorator. You use type to make a message, convey an idea. Find the right typeface to do that.
A quick review: watch your spacing, don't distort type, limit your typefaces, and avoid using special effects.
Join John McWade as he explains how to design in a variety of styles and voices using display type, which is type that's set at headline size and above. He discusses type families that include strikingly expressive characters, shows how to combine typefaces, shares how to avoid common design flaws, and takes you through working with type in photos. This art form is applicable to print advertising, brochures, magazines, posters, fliers, slide decks, and much more.
- What is display type?
- Form vs. function
- Setting display type
- Combining typefaces
- Tightening or loosening a setting
- Using display type with images
- Avoiding common mistakes
- Typographic voice