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What is Typography?

By: Cecilia Allen, Creative Coordinator



Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. Typography applies to the style, arrangement, and appearance of the letters, numbers, and symbols created by the process. It is up to the designer to know which fonts they should or should not use. These decision can be daunting as there is an endless variety of fonts online. When it comes to selecting a font, where do you begin? Below is a breakdown of the four most common typefaces, the differences in each and when best to use them.

Types of fonts

There are four types of typography: serif fonts, sans-serif fonts, script fonts, display fonts.

Serif Fonts and Sans-Serif Fonts

Serif fonts are typefaces with extra strokes on the ends of their letterforms, known as serifs, which add a decorative element. These typefaces give off a feeling of history and tradition. Sans-serif fonts are typefaces that do not have serifs on the ends of their letterform. A sans-serif font has a more modern and minimalist approach to them. They lack flourishing and have a clean appearance.



Display and Script Fonts

The other two popular fonts are display and script fonts. A display font is a typeface meant for large lettering for heading. Display typefaces will often have more of an eccentric design variable and a clean and crisp approach. They are intended to convey a specific feeling and are a great way to show a brand’s personality. A script font mimics cursive handwriting. This typeface is another way to add a personal touch, like calligraphy. There are two types of script fonts, formal and casual. A formal script font has an elegant and traditional look, and it is used for invitations and other decorative announcements. A casual script font has an informal and human touch typeface to its form. They often have a friendly and appealing feeling to them.

Now It's Your Turn

Now that you have a better understanding of the four major typefaces, hopefully finding that perfect font for your next design or brand will come with ease.

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