If you missed the previous 5 font crimes, be sure to read them here. Today I’m going to talk about 5 more mistakes that you must not make with fonts.
Too tight tracking
Why is this bad: the characters look squashed against each other and it makes it hard to read. And before you tell me, “really? no one will actually make that mistake” – trust me, I’ve seen this.
What to do instead: set the tracking to 0 in Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign:
Squashing a font to make it look condensed
Why is this bad: people usually make this mistake when their text isn’t fitting in a predefined space. So what do they do? They squash the font to make it fit. Amateur designers also make this mistake when they want to make a font look condensed.
What to do instead: Instead of squashing, and making the font lose its character, try to look for another font, or decrease the text size. Paid-for fonts also come in many different styles and weights, and sometimes include a condensed version as well.
Not enough line spacing
Why is this bad: there is not enough space between the lines which makes the text hard to read.
What to do instead: Increase the line spacing to at least 1.5 to give the text some breathing space. To do this in Word, select your text, right-click and choose Paragraph. Change the line spacing to 1.5 lines.To do this in Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign, go to Window – Type – Character and increase the leading in the box with the two “A”s under each other.
Center aligning text on blog posts
Why this is bad: center aligning lots of text (on websites, blogs, or articles) makes it hard to read. Each line starts at a new place so your eye has to search for the starting place each time.
What to do instead: If you are writing a long article or blog post, left-align your text. Left-aligned text is easier to read because the reader knows where the next line will start.
Using too many typefaces
Why this is bad: By using too many fonts the design looks cluttered. The reader doesn’t know what text is important and what is less important.
What to do instead: Let’s take a business card as example. Use two fonts at the most. And try to not use too many font styles – i.e. bold, underline, italic. Use a larger and bold font for your name and use a smaller and regular weight font for the contact details.
If you have made these mistakes before, don’t worry! At least you know what to do next time 🙂