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Design Fundamentals: Typography

Lesson 6 of 8

Ensuring Readability

Justin Seeley

Design Fundamentals: Typography

Justin Seeley

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Lesson Info

6. Ensuring Readability

Lesson Info

Ensuring Readability

Now let's talk about ledge ability of type because so far we've just been kind of making this more aesthetically pleasing. But we haven't been focusing on the actual readability of the type, how well you're able to understand it. And so the basic principles that we look for when we're talking about readability is sighs, spacing and also contrast. Size spacing, in contrast, contrast incorporates a lot of things. Contrast incorporates colored mostly, but also thickness of the typeface, as opposed to the color of the background. Everything goes back to color in some way, shape or form. So if using an extremely thin typeface, and you don't really have a whole lot of contrast between the foreground and background to begin with, that is going to completely disappear into the background. So if you're going to use a thin typeface, make sure it's a very contrast in color, with a very starkly contrast background for this particular example that we've been working on here. We didn't necessarily h...

ave to worry too much about the color were using black as the background, so almost any color is going to pop off of black. But let's say that we change that. Let's say that we change the background to maybe kind of a medium red. Now we start to lose a little bit of that contrast The work Rome still pops a little bit, but not as much as it did before. And the White same thing. Now what if we had had an even more muted text before? Like something like that that would pop on a black background? If I take a look at this, see, you can still read that 100% but changing that to the red, you start to lose it. And so this is the stuff that you need to keep into consideration. As you're working in Illustrator in design or Photoshopped wherever you might be, you have to take into consideration the readability of the type. So what makes type readable Number one? How big is it and what's the final destination? So if you're going to a billboard, for instance, you're not gonna use 12 point type. If you're going to a business card, you're not going to use six point type or 36 point type. You've got to split the difference somewhere in the middle. It's all about making sure that in the given medium, whatever that is a business card, a billboard, a TV screen, whatever that whatever you do is sized appropriately so that most people could read it. You're never gonna hit everybody because people have different eyesight, They have different tastes. They have different abilities to read quickly, slowly doesn't matter. And so you just want to make sure that you're hitting the high points for the majority of the people that are gonna be looking at what you're doing. So in this case, to make this a little bit more readable, I would obviously want to create some more contrast between this and the background. So white is a fairly decent choice for this. However, it is a little small, so I might increase the size of this text box providing I had some real estate to do so and then I might bump it up a couple of points, something like that, making a little bit easier to read. And then on top of that, I might increase the leading just a bit. Now, over setting the type you can see there and then I've got lots of things that fell off the in there, especially that little orphan and at the bottom. I can fix that, of course, by increasing or decreasing the size of the type or by adjusting the tracking. But I think in this case everything is well tracked. Everything is well spaced, and that's pretty much what I'm looking for. My rule of thumb is if I look at this at 100% if I'm not able to easily scan across it with my fingers and understand, read every word that's on the page with very little effort, then I haven't done my job. So for the most part, when I'm reading across all of these lines, I'm looking to make sure that I don't have to spend a whole lot of time squinting and looking like this. That's not what you want people to do. You want people to be able to look and go. Okay, that's that. That's what that says. That's that's fine. And because most people don't read and deaf anyway, we have the attention spans of nets these days because we're so consumed by the electron ICS around us. So printed materials and a lot of words simply don't appeal to people anymore. So if you don't make something readable, they're not gonna care. So in this case, let's talk about how we might increase the contrast of this because obviously, we're got good contrast between the body copy in the background. But maybe not the word Rome, and we don't want this to bleed into the background any more than it does. And we don't necessarily want to be the same color as this either. So what will we do? Well, this is where you're gonna hearken back to your study of color because you need to understand exactly what color would contrast well with this particular background color. And for the most part, you can do that by looking at a color wheel. So let me select this background. Can I open this up? And we can kind of look here at the color picker, but, uh, not exactly what I need, Right? So let's take this. I'll copy the hex code value and I'll go over to colored out adobe dot com. It's a good lesson color theory. I don't to sign in to do this. All I have to do is come down here, plug this in. You know that creates that key color for me. And then what I'm gonna do is go over here to complementary, and that's gonna show me all of the different colors that are complementary to that. I can also see based on the different rules, things that might contrast with that. And you notice when I do the Triad. Remember? I said, Triad yesterday creates a lot of good contrast when I was talking about color. So this color yellow Well, if I go back, that's exactly what color I have. So I'm doing my I'm doing my job, and that's a good thing. There's not gonna be anything really that contrast more. If I tried something like white, that's great, but it doesn't create a whole lot of difference between the body and the headline green that's gonna bleed blue. No way pink, absolutely not. Yellow is my best option for that. So my recommendation any time somebody is learning typography for the first time, and especially when it comes to applying color is I want you to go out to a color wheel, and I want you to use that try attic formula, and the Trident formula is almost always going to give you at least one color. That's in stark contrast to the color that you're targeting, and that's gonna be the color that you go with, or at least a shade or version of it.

Class Description

Well-organized typography is an integral part of good graphic design. Learn how to do it right in Graphic Design: Typography with Justin Seeley. He will take you through the basics of Typefaces, fonts, and the anatomy of letter forms.

Justin will teach you how to work with type so it accurately and beautifully conveys information.

You’ll learn about:

  • Key Typography Terms
  • Anatomy of Type
  • Placement and Arrangement
  • Ensuring Readability
  • The Psychology of Type

You’ll get all the basics for working with type and get helpful insights on developing layouts, improving legibility, and adding details.

Every designer works with type – learn the rules for how type influences our perception, and how to get it right every time Graphic Design Fundamentals: Type with Justin Seeley.

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I found it an excellent and complete introduction to a difficult subject! I amply recommend it. Laura

a Creativelive Student

Constance Stickler