Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why Copywriters need to care about typography


+ If you're a copywriter, you might think something like typography is a thing that is only in the realm of designers and art directors. But, you should think again. Typography is the design of your words. It's what visually communicates or reinforces what your words are getting across. It's what makes your words legible and adds extra impact and meaning to them.

Now, I'm not saying copywriters should be typography experts. But there should be an understanding when looking at the layout of your words if it's working or not. Should the font be more bubbly and fun? Serif and serious? Is that grunge font affecting the ability to read what the words are actually saying? Here is an example of bad font choices.

Are letters being touched or hit by the characters from the lines above or below? Is just one word left on a line (called a "widow")? Are words breaking and requiring hyphenation?

When it comes to web design, typography overall has less love than it does in print or broadcast. It's rather sad, but perhaps a remnant of the fact that many early web designers were more technologists than designers. This is changing--thanks to the mighty Design Gods.

But, dear Copywriters, it is also your job to stand up for your work and make sure that intent and creativity doesn't die by the hands of bad typography.

You can find thousands of articles on the web about the topic of typography with a simple search. Here are a few links to read and check out:

Web Typography Sucks - A good selection of links and slides and audio of the presentation from SXSW 2007.

Smashing Magazine has a plethora of resources on typography.

8 Rules for Creating Effective Typography - I think it's missing a couple things but, has a good list of basics.

Bad typography kills good web content. Yes.

Here's an introduction to web typography.

Some fun with Crimes Against Typography.

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