Whether for a website or for brochure printing, typography is extremely important in marketing media.

Typography Guidelines: Online vs. In Print

Typography is extremely important in marketing media, whether it is for a website or for brochure printing. The proper use of typography can help readers to understand and enjoy what they are reading. If readers do not get the message, then your creative efforts are wasted. Keep in mind, though, that the rules for typography contain a few differences from web to print design. If you will be switching between web design and print design, there are some differences in typography you should be aware of.

The leading is the space in between lines of text. The amount of leading you use greatly impacts the reader's ease of reading. In print, the leading is usually about 20% larger than the point size of the type. Online, 20% is enough for some fonts, but for others you may need to add up to 50% more. Computer screens are more difficult to read from than paper, so a little extra leading helps to keep lines of text from blurring together. Both in print and web design, you should type out four or five lines of text in the typeface you are using and evaluate how it looks as well as how easy it is to read. You may need to adjust the leading depending on the typeface, the size of the type, and the length of the lines of text.

In print, it is alright to use justified alignment of text if you are going for a certain look, or you have layout restrictions. Since it is more difficult to read online, it is best to avoid using justified alignment altogether. Justified columns of text have awkward spacing between words which can be annoying to the reader.

Serifs are the little extra lines at the ends of letters. In print, serifs help the eye to move forward and make reading easier. It is a good practice to use serif fonts for blocks of text like you might have with brochure printing. Typefaces without serifs, sans-serif type, slows the reader down and should be used in titles and headings. Online, though, the rules are the complete opposite. The serifs tend to blur together, making letters difficult to distinguish. Therefore, sans-serif type should be used for body text online, while serif fonts are beautiful to look at and are great to use in titles and headings on web pages.

Both in print materials and websites, it is important to have an obvious hierarchy between different kinds of text. In this way, brochure printing and website designs are very similar. The title should be significantly larger than the headings and the headings should be obviously larger than the body text. You can also differentiate between types of text by making the important words bold and less important information in a light weight font.

Learning the guidelines for both online and print design is very important for those designers who create projects for both types of media. With the right knowledge, you will not only become a more professional designer but also find yourself improving greatly with each new piece of information you learn.

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