Everyone has an opinion…there is a saying about that isn’t there? Well regardless, I am going to express mine. This one involves the use of type. There are certain style manuals that give you punctuation rules. We’ve become use to spell checkers and even a grammar checkers. But no one has created a “that font can’t be read” checker! So I am going to give you a few pointers on what not to do when it comes to type, whether in print or on the web.
I will need to illustrate some of these because the web is not compatible with all fonts. If you choose a special or unique font specific to your system, do not assume it will translate across all platforms. I guess that can be rule the first rule
#1. Stick with the standard fonts when publishing any communication on-line. (i.e. Blogs, Web sites, ENewletters). What are the standards? You can’t go wrong with Helvetica, Verdana, Arial for san serif fonts and Times, Times New Roman or Georgia for your serif fonts.
#2. DO NOT SET TYPE IN ALL CAPS, ESPECIALLY LONG SENTENCES. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING DOESN’T IT. ALSO IT IS HARD TO READ. Stop it now!
#3. Keep these script fonts for wedding invitations, and don’t use all caps.
#4. Color text on color background- can be dangerous. Readability is an issue. Rule of thumb, black will read over most tints, even gray up to around 60%. Also watch reversing type out of a light color. If in doubt go lighter or darker.
#5. Light text on white – make sure it can be read. This is especially prevalent on the web. Every monitor is different. A nice rich gold on your system may look like beige on mine, and unreadable.
#6. Reversing small italic text – sure as long as you don’t want it to be read.
#7. Mixing too many fonts in too many styles. Where should I look???
This is just a start of my pet peeves when it comes to type setting. As I come across examples, good and bad, I will post them. See if you don’t agree.
Oh, one more thing, I received an email offer last week for “FREE fonts.” I love fonts and I love FREE. When I linked over, yep they were FREE but they were UNREADABLE fonts. Really. And I can assure you that someone, somewhere will try to use them.