Is it ever appropriate to use Comic Sans? Let’s start with a little backstory on how this atrocity was created.

Over 20 years ago Vincent Connare, a typographic engineer for Microsoft, was working on a new program featuring a cartoon dog speaking through a Times new Roman speech bubble. After completing the design, he realized that a “serious”  serif font didn’t look quite right coming out of the dog’s mouth. To quote Connare on his inspiration, he thought, “‘That’s silly. Dogs don’t talk like that.’ So I said it would look better if it looked like a comic book.” The lesson here? If you’re making content with a cartoon dog, then yes 100% use Comic Sans. Other than that, its best to pick a different font.

When creating new content, lots of time is spent on the writing and design process. However, without any focus on typography, the effort will all be for nothing. Typography is more than just words on a page; it is its own art form. When utilized correctly, font stylings will enhance the graphics and documents you create, making them readable and visually appealing. Let’s dig in:

Elements to Consider When Designing with Typography

Visual Hierarchy

Visualize the front page of a newspaper; the first thing that draws you in is the main headline. With big, bold letters, the headline highlights the most important story of the day. Below the headline is a subheading, which pulls out a critical piece of information from the article. After reading the subheading, the viewer’s eyes are drawn to the body text, which is the article.

Visual Hierarchy is the element that leads the audience’s gaze across the page. It shows the audience the most significant information and then works to keep their focus down the page to read the article. Below is an example of a visual hierarchy.

Typography Visual Hierarchy

Break up Large Blocks of Text

With human attention spans getting shorter and shorter, a great way to make sure people are reading all the way through your article or blog is by making it a visual experience. Hint: most people won’t read your work if it looks boring.

Don’t fret; there are plenty of ways to jazz up your work:

  • Highlight pull quotes from your article or post, which help break up the text. If the quote has a hook, it will keep people interested.
  • You may need to sit down for this one: white space. White space helps organize content and keeps pages from becoming too overwhelming for viewers.
  • Look through your work and determine if you have an opportunity of complying information into a bullet point list (check that one off for me!).
Smart Font Pairing

As an overall rule, you should never put more than three different fonts into your design. If you have too many fonts in one article not only will it look messy, it could be deemed unreadable.

To ensure you are correctly pairing fonts together, here are two quick questions you can ask yourself,

Do these fonts contradict each other?
Do these fonts look too similar?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then it is time to consider looking into different font pairings.

Prioritize Readability Over Everything Else

To make sure that you are creating graphics that are accessible to everyone, you should keep in mind the readability of your work. To start, ensure that the text featured in your work has high contrast. If you have a dark background, you should use light text, and vice versa.

Even if you believe that the text has enough contrast, you must keep in mind that people in your audience could have a visual impairment. This handicap can include color blindness, which affects 4.5% of the world population, or low vision, which affects 4% the world’s population. When in doubt, prioritize high contrasting colors- if people can’t read your work, then what is the point?

Worried you won’t be able to remember all of these helpful tips. Just remember VBSP. Say it with me, “VBSP”:
V is for Visual Hierarchy
B is for Break up Large Blocks of Text
S is for Smart Font Pairs
P is for Prioritize Readability Over Everything Else.

Maybe I should stop trying to make VBSP happen. Better yet, save this page in your browser to reference for your future typography needs. Still stuck with average looking text? At The Moak Group, making visually appealing and engaging content is what we do.

Rebecca McTear

Rebecca McTear

Digital Strategist at The Moak Group
Adapting to the latest technologies to stay one step ahead of competitors, Rebecca McTear handles the Digital Strategy at The Moak Group. Here she develops unique strategies to meet client goals, crafts content for social media, videos, and graphics and monitors metrics and analytics to make sure client goals are being reached.
Rebecca McTear