How Important is Typography for Design?

Typography is an essential element of design and can really influence whether it is a success or a failure. This is why you should follow these steps to ensure that your typography choices work with and not against your design ambitions.

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Identify the Purpose

Typography can set the style, mood and tone or a design, and so must be aligned with its purpose. This means deciding on what information you are trying to get across and what medium you want to use. Different choices will be made according to whether you are a greeting card illustrator in London or an expert in web design in Belfast.

If you are creating a landing page that is image-driven, for example, you need a simple font which won’t detract from the images and the type that you use should emphasize information and communicate meaning.

Audience Identification

The interests and age of your target audience should influence your font choices. Some fonts are more appealing for children, for example, while seniors may prefer readable sizes and high contrasting colours.

Be Inspired

Seek inspiration from other designers or enlist the help of experts such as, and try and understand what motivates their type decision. You should also take notice of the fonts used on some of your favourite sites and look at how fonts are paired to improve readability and establish a visual hierarchy. A good source of inspiration is the BBC website.

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Choosing Fonts

Once you’re ready to choose your type think purpose, legibility and readability. It is usually better to choose conventional, easy to read type rather than highly decorative fonts. You will also need to make different choices depending on whether it will be used as a body text or a header. When pairing fonts, don’t use more than three different types and use fonts which contrast with each other to help guide the readers’ eyes.

Determine Sizes

Determining font sizing can be difficult but there are tools out there to help such as the Modular Scale system from Adobe’s Tim Brown, which can be found at

Typography Styleguide

The final step is the creation of a typography styleguide to help you standardize type across different designs. This will speed up the design process in the future and help you to maintain an easily-recognisable style.