Typography Rules and Terms Every Designer Must Know

Typography is an art and good typography can easily distinguish a professional design with an amateurish one. The selection of the right typography can stimulate the interest of the audience and motivate the audience to read the message that you want them to read. Typography is among the most vital and satisfying graphic design elements and if you know the fundamental rules of it, you can easily look like a professional.

It is essential to follow the typography principles rather than making unreadable texts, lack of kerning as well as stretched fonts. The choice of the typefaces and understanding of how the typeface work with the layout, color scheme, grid, etc will make the difference between an ordinary and a great design. There is a lot of jargon you can find in the realm of typography and here you will get simplified guidelines of the typography rules that may help you to improve the typography UX.

Learn the basics

Try to get your basics right and learn every little thing about typography to make your learning more effective. Each font face has got its vocabulary that you should try to learn to make your understanding clear. You should try to set apart some time to learn the art and make a thorough understanding.

Know font communication

It will not be wise for you to randomly select your fonts and choosing whatever you think look good may not yield the result. There is a psychology behind choosing a typeface and the fonts that you are going to use must connect to the users. For example, if you are working on a lawyer website, you should know that elaborate and colorful font may not fit here and it can be more appropriate for a kid’s birthday invitation.

The kerning

The kerning element

You must know about the kerning element in details and poor kerning can devastate a design. Kerning can produce texts that are arranged well and even by keeping the space between the characters proper. Kerning errors can be subtle and often unnoticeable in a long paragraph or sentences, however, a poor kerning on a logo or in a headline can ruin the whole design immediately.

Practice proper alignment of the font

In typography, the concept of alignment is very vital and in alignment, you have the option for left, right, center, and justified. Though most non-designers opt for center-aligned or justified, left alignment remains the easiest position for the eyes. Justified option for alignment can be a nightmare for the designers and you need to make sure to look out for ragged lines both in case of right and left alignment.

Size of the typeface

Size of the typeface

There are various types of typefaces and some can be wide and others can be fat, and still, there can be narrow and thin typeface. Words can take a different amount of space on a page depending on the choice of the typeface. The height of the character is termed as ‘x-height’ and the width of the character is termed as ‘set width’, and you should select similar ‘x-height’ and ‘set width’ while pairing different typefaces.



The vertical space between each typed line is known as leading and the name comes from metal typesetting where strips of leads used to separate the lines of type. For a legible body, the general rule for the leading value of anything between 1.25 to 1.5 times more than the size of the font.

Use of visual hierarchy is important

The use of typography hierarchy can emphasize the importance of a certain line of text in a typography UX Design. It can be a wonderful way to establish the order that you may want for your readers to get the required information from your design. It can be better done by guiding the eyes of the readers through the visual hierarchy and it can become easier for your audience to find valuable information easily with it.

Work with grids

Work with grids

It is critical for you to understand and to use the design grids as design grids can help you to utilize all the details of your design properly to create visual and logical harmony. Also, the design grid can help to make all elements cohesive and unified. Though you may not need to work with design grids in every project, it will helpful for you to understand it to decide when and where and how to use it.

Be smart with font pairing

Proper font combination can make your design layout very attractive and if you do use the font in combination in a good way, it can distract the readers, and also confuse the readers. It is always better to restrict font usage to a maximum of three, and these are the title, body, and subheading. When the text of your design is long, you can use one or two more typefaces.

Typography widows and orphans

Typography widows and orphans

You can further level up your design when you know how you can determine and get rid of the typographical widows and orphans. Typographical widows are the lines of text that form part of a paragraph and have made the way to the next column. Though orphans are similar, here is a small difference and it is that only a single word is left on its own.

Avoiding the widows and orphans in design that are centered is a very difficult proposition and these are almost inevitable. You need to know how to manage it properly with some proper techniques like modifying the line length by editing the text. The other way is to adjust the column size or the text box and allow the font to move around the windows and the orphans.

Do not stretch fonts

Do not stretch fonts

It is one of the most fundamental rules of typography design styles that are often overlooked by many designers. When creating a typeface, stretching them may take away the value and efficiency. Choose a tall and wide font face and make your text a bit taller or wider without distorting it.


Knowing as well as understanding the typography rules can help to improve the skills for every component for your design. Practicing repeatedly may hone your skills and can help you to master the guidelines easily. It will be possible for you to grasp all the rules only by applying the rules.

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