Have you ever come across a graphic, website, or even an email that was hard to read? Having an ideal typeface for your designs is quite important. Matter of fact it may contribute to your conversion rate on your website and an overall emotional feel to your readers.
First of all we have to talk about something that’s a bit controversial.
Quick Vocabulary Lesson & History
Let’s talk history and what typography is.
Do you know the difference between a font and a typeface?
After really looking into this matter, the differences have really been mixed up due to old school typography methods going digital. The fact is typography is an old world art that has become digitalized to bring the masses to become typographers.
What’s a typographer really?
A typographer is someone who selects a particular typeface for a graphic design, website, book, or other printed material. Basically that’s you and me. Have you written a book, created a website, or do you create newsletters? If you make the decision of the lettering on your material then YOU are the typographer.
That takes us to what the difference is between a font and typeface.
I grew up being Microsoft savvy therefore using Microsoft Word was second nature. I’m sure many people can relate that in many schools they taught off of PC’s and used Microsoft software. Learning to use Word helped develop a vocabulary like no other. The word “font” was for lettering on the page or so I thought. With this vocabulary word, (instilled in me since youth) it’s pretty easy to say all lettering is font. Right?
It’s only until recently I’ve heard of typeface and that’s when I had to find out more. Typeface is the lettering that we see. For example, I can look at lettering on a screen and know that it’s Times New Roman Bold typeface. It’s not font!
Font is the overall categorization of the typefaces. It’s the equipment that encompasses the sizes, the bold, the italics, etc. See back in day they used metal blocks for printing for every size and such. John Brownlee explains the history a little better than I can here and Jon Tan has an awesome metaphor on typeface vs. fonts here. Now that you know the history and a quick vocab lesson, let’s carry on to how typography affects you and your readers.
Typography Affecting Your Business
I don’t know about you but sometimes when I see a graphic or a website that’s hard to read I bounce out of there. There are times when I look at a social media graphic and the typeface doesn’t go with the photo, I feel a bit …icky. That feeling close to embarrassment and you’re not sure why you feel so weird. Here are a couple of examples when I don’t feel so great:
This example makes me want to run and hide…
This example makes me feel sad and now my eyes hurt but I have to tell you I actually saw something similar to this on a website.
Typography has this affect on most people. Here’s a cool infographic from Neil Patel on how typography affects conversions and Neil knows A LOT about conversion.
What You Can Do To Improve
Here’s some more help on identifying bad typography, this article is jam packed with WordPress.org plug-ins that can empower you to beautify your website along with make it clear for your readers.
When creating your social media graphics, website graphics, newsletters, etc. you can use Canva’s Design School, which is brand new with teaching materials on using fonts. If you need video lessons you can go to my Canva School to get lessons on using Canva for business.
A couple of questions for you:
- What sort of typography makes you a bit uncomfortable when you see it?
- What’s your favorite typeface?
I’d love to hear from you and if you feel that this post has some helpful hints please share.
Lillian De Jesus