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.

5 font crimes you should not commit | click here to read!

Too tight tracking

too tight kerning example

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:

set tracking in adobe

Squashing a font to make it look condensed

squashing a font

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

not enough line spacing example

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.

set line spacing in word and adobe

Center aligning text on blog posts

do not center align 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

do not use 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 🙂