Design Principles: Typography

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Typography, in my opinion, is the base of catching a users attention. Nothing could deter a user more than bad typography. Choosing the right fonts and font size can really make or break your website or app or book, whatever it may be, that your using make sure you realize that the right use of typography can really make a difference.

Typography is the work of typesetter or compositors. These typesetter classically ranged from comic book artists to graphic designers. These days, anyone who arranges copy for any type publication is working with typography, whether it’s for display, distribution, or just for another goofy meme.


For many people, it’s a difficult to find the right typeface. It can be a tedious and overwhelming process that can easily make or break a design. Like many facets of design, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and most individuals tend to choose typefaces based on their own personality and aesthetics. Finding the balance between personal and professional is the real key to picking the right typeface. The arrangement and balance of typefaces that work together is a key element to making sure your on the right path. There are five major types that you need to know of:

Geometric sans

Geometric sans is a face that’s based on strict geometric forms. Geometric sans usually have strokes and have parallel widths throughout the lettering.

Humanist sans

These faces are derived from handwriting, they may look clean and urbanized but there’s still that human characteristic about the sans. The letter formations of a humanist fonts usually have detail and less consistency. Frequently you’ll see thinner and thicker stoke weights.

Old style

This is usually referred to as Venetian. These are the oldest of typefaces. Old style faces are marked by small contrast between thick and thin. Hit the curved letter forms usually tilt to the left just as calligraphy does.

Transitional and modern

Transitional and modern typefaces came out as type designers were experimenting with making the formations of the letterforms with more geometric, sharp and virtuosic than the unassuming old style typefaces we know today. Transitional typefaces mark a well known advancement in this direction. In making modernist punches, type designers possessed a certain virtuosic style. Demonstrating the contrast between thick and thin strokes.

Slab serifs

Slab serifs are also referred to as Egyptian. Slab serifs are known as a wild card that has come back into play these recent years. Slab serifs are more likely to have strokes of those like sans typefaces but with solid, rectangular shoes stuck on the end. Slab serifs are an outlier in the sense that they convey very specific associations.

Great (free) Typography Resources