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The Power of Typography

The Power of Typography

Typography is a powerful and important design element when it comes to communicating visually. Each character has its own unique and intrinsic qualities that evoke different expressions and messages.  When used correctly, typography can be extremely effective.  It is always important to push the boundaries and rules in design.  However, creativity with no direction or knowledge of the basics can be disastrous.  Anybody can learn a few quick tricks on various design softwares and produce decent results. Great typographic communication comes from not only creativity but also knowledge of what you are working with.  Willi Kunz states in his book Typography: Formation + Transformation that,

“Rather than being eclipsed by new technologies, modern typography has become a powerful medium for visual experimentation and personal expression.  Creativity alone, however, is not enough to ensure the success of typographic communication. To transform even the simplest piece of information, the graphic designer must grasp theories and aesthetic principles that have informed visual communication for centuries.”  (Kunz, intro)

To illustrate what I am talking about, I have created some examples of how different typographic variations affect the visual quality of typography.  You can see how even the smallest adjustments will affect rhythm, legibility and the overall visual quality of the message you are trying to communicate.


Here’s a list of more variations that will affect visual quality:

Background (shape, color, surface)

Letter (Case, Face, Slant, Weight, Width, Size)

Word (Letter space,  Kerning, Baseline)

Line (Word space, Length, Direction)

Paragraph (Alignment, Interline space, First line)

Column (Number, Width, Placement, Interline space, Length)

Related Articles:

Seven Principles of Effective Typography

50 Typographic Inspirations

5 Principles and Ideas for Setting Type on the Web

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