5 Typography Horrors | Titan Web Marketing Solutions

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5 Typography Horrors


If you work with a professional graphic designer in some capacity, you’ve heard them fixating over fonts, spacing and more. What they are fixating over is known as the concept of typography. For those of you who have never heard the term before, typography is defined as the art or procedure of arranging printed letters on a page.   

Typography has changed over the years with the introduction of new fonts, new mediums such as the Internet, as well as standard usage changes. As such, the practice of typography and the various rules have evolved as well. Yet, many people continue to make the same horrifying mistakes, time after time.

We canvassed our creative team of graphic designers and directors here at Titan Web Marketing Solutions to see what typography horrors they have encountered or send shivers up their spines.

Stretched Fonts

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This typography mischief definitely struck a chord with our creative team. When asked about stretched fonts, they cringed in disgust.

When you stretch a font, regardless of direction, you are directly screwing up the quality of the font. Font types are created based off of mathematical calculations. Yes, math is used in creative industries – quite often actually. Typography is based off of specific mathematical formulas, which determine the legibility and tone of the particular font.

By messing with the font, you are meddling with the mathematical calculations and directly affecting the overall legibility.

It is in your best interest to avoid stretching your fonts.

Using Serif Fonts on a Dark Background

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Do you know the difference between serif and sans serif fonts? Let’s use the letter ‘t’ as an example. The little strokes at top, bottom and cross section are known as serifs. Sans serif fonts, such as Arial or Verdana, do not have these strokes.

Serif and sans serif fonts each have their specific uses. For instance, due to the resolution of screens, it is suggested that you use sans serif fonts for any online work you are completing. On the other end of the spectrum, serif fonts are much better for printing.

Please, please, please do not use serif fonts on dark backgrounds. Why? The serifs will get lost in the background and also become blurry. Instead, use a sans serif font to avoid having the majority of your font disappear. Regardless of whether you are completing print or web work, do not use serif fonts when working with dark backgrounds.

Drop Shadows

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Ah drop shadows. This technique came about when people decided that using drop shadows would help the text on a background become more visible. In fact, it does the exact opposite.  

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When you use text drop shadows as part of your design, your font and therefore wording becomes incredibly difficult to read. If you absolutely must use drop shadows (for whatever inexplicable reason you can come up with), do so with extreme subtlety. We advise our clients to avoid drop shadows at all cost. In the end, they are really not necessary. When your drop shadows become overly apparent and your message is challenging to decipher, the real horror begins.

Lack of Tone Understanding

Sorry for your loss!

Our biggest typography pet peeve is when individuals forget that each font portrays a tone. For instance, you wouldn’t use a silly font like Giddy Up for a sympathy card would you? That’d be the equivalent of saying, “I’m not really sorry that you lost your job, and I am sending you this card purely out of obligation and not authentic sympathy”.

When choosing a font, be sure to choose one that will convey the emotion you are trying to elicit. To elaborate, if we are tasked with creating a graphic or website design for a law firm, we will not use a ‘fun’ font. It would come across as unprofessional and therefore hinder the image of the law firm. Be diligent when choosing a font, and make sure that it portrays the tone and image you are looking to convey.

Comic Sans

No.

Just visit the Ban Comic Sans website. You’ll understand our dismay with the font.

Instead of committing one of these typography horrors, contact Titan Web Marketing Solutions for all of your typography, graphic and website design projects.