What to avoid when using text in design

While it’s true that a picture can tell a thousand words, careful use of typography can give your words impact and result in well-considered creative. Our designers have shared some hints and tips for producing text-led designs…

1.      Know your colours

The basic principles of design still apply when you’re creating typographic-led images. While colour theory is easily an entirely separate blog, here is the most important rule to note: if in doubt, space your pantones. Black on white and white on black work so well because they’re so drastically different.

Hard to read colour combinations can have a range of implications. Firstly, it can slow the reader down and possibly make them lose interest. Secondly, bear in mind the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) guidelines - good contrast between text and background aides the visually impaired.

2.      It’s not a novel

Bold simplicity prevails when it comes to creating eye-catching images. Take into account word length and font size when displaying your text to create a clean, legible piece.

3.      Give it some space

As well as limiting the word count, getting your spacing right is also key. Micro-typography – or spacing theory − is necessary to bear in mind when putting your text together. Even in the age of unnecessarily long #hashtags, legible typography should be a design priority.

4.      Not all fonts are your friends

Avoid using too many fonts. Diversity is not always the answer when choosing fonts, while it can be done well, it can also create messy chaos! Be sure to be as selective as you can.

5.      Capitalised script: the ultimate sin

We’re championing the lowercase when using script. One of our designers went as far to say that script, when capitalised, ‘offends’ them. Script fonts were created to flow gracefully and, therefore, are unsuited to title case.

6.      Less is more

It can be tempting to over-design - because who wouldn’t want to show off their graphic design skills? Just remember that less is more and don’t be tempted to over-work a piece.

7.      Use trends for inspiration and have fun!

Typographic trends emerging in 2015 focus around several themes. Firstly, many have been looking back to vintage letterpress styles and digitalising them. Secondly, delicate and calligraphic text seems to be on the up.

However, while it’s important to know what’s pushing the buttons of Instagram-ers, it shouldn’t hold you back from experimenting and adapting what’s on-trend.

The work of Freshwater’s experienced in-house designers can be found across many of our case studies with specialties in branding and design


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Impact Report 2017

Impact report 2017