What is Typography?

Essentially, typography is the visual component of the written word. It is the technique, and art, of arranging letters in a way that makes the text legible, clear, and visually appealing to the reader. Typography involves the structure, size, weight, and style of the characters. It also considers the amount of space between the letters, characters, words, and lines. All of this comes together to influence certain emotions and convey specific messages to support the written letters and characters. When done well, it is incredibly powerful. When done poorly, there is a risk the message will be lost or misunderstood.

Before the digital age, typography was a specialized craft associated with books and other public works. Even before Gutenberg’s printing press, handwritten books or posters were carefully crafted, spacing was experimented with, and sometimes ornate embellished letters decorated the pages. It then evolved to include movable type tiles with the invention of the printing press, which massively expanded the art form. The creativity of typography then extended even further with the explosion of the digital age.

When it comes to branding, typography helps convey your message to your audience. Good typography will create a visual hierarchy, feel balanced, provide contrast, create consistency, inform structure, and set the tone of your product. The way the words and letters look and interact with each other is just as important as the meaning of the words. The typography choices you make can either help or harm your brand.

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