Tweaking IS Fun, Type Is Meant to Be Read
It’s Sunday. The five minutes of Chicago spring is over. A young blogger’s fancy turns to thoughts of baseball and tweaking a blog. The easiest thing to touch and change in a template is the font size and style. Change a number and whoosh! we’ve got a new look. It’s so easy, that sometimes we do it without attention to how all of those changes work when we put them together.
Our readers live with the result. Sometimes it’s fabulous, sometimes not so much.
5 Type Tweaking Tricks for a Sunday Afternoon
Tweaking type is art of the highest form . . . um . . . or to say it another way, the look of our blog can need some serious tweaking. If we put it together without giving attention to the big picture, or if it’s time to freshen things up to get back in fashion, a few tricks, some perspective will do wonders to move us to a clean, readable, and magnetic result.
Choosing fonts and tweaking them is a form of expression. Taking the time to do it right, previewing as we go is critical, but so is knowing the basics of how people interact with type. Here are some tricks to give special attention to the type fonts on a blogs.
- Look out for too many typefaces and type fonts Try to keep to two type families please — three at the most. With a range of sizes, that should be enough to meet all of your type needs. More than that and eyes donÃ¢â¬â¢t know where to go or how to focus. Designers know that itÃ¢â¬â¢s less distracting to keep the number low — simple is elegant.
- In like manner, stick to 3 colors for your type and design. It’s hard enough to find 3 colors that go together well. Colors are more distracting than type fonts. Use a color generator tool to get a palette that defines colors that are made from the same base. If you have a photo in your header some color palette generators will actually pull colors right from it. This will help you avoid colors — red is one, bright blue is another — that can vibrate on dark backgrounds which can motion sickness to occur — seriously.
- When working with type, be as makthematical as you can. Make your h1, h2, h3, and h4 (if you use them) heads scale down in equal mathematical increments. The naked eye might be able to tell the difference between 1% em or 1 pixel, but a tension will occur that makes your blog feel slightly out of whack when people look at it.
- Define your type area to a readable width. A type area so wide I need to drive to read across and then need to drive back to continue on will wear out my eyes in no time. The width should get narrow as the type gets smaller, so that readers can find their way back to the next line.
- Keep your type in blocks. When you lean back and look at your overall blog, your type should hold together in bigger type blocks. For example, the post title, post and all of the after matter should hang as one item, despite the fact that they are many different parts. Adjust the space between the parts until the entire post looks to be a single unit. That will help readers actually see your blog in the way you have written it.
If you spend time today tweaking the type on your blog, these are five points to be vigilant about. Blogs with these problems slow us down as readers. When the reading is slow, we perceive it as work. Soon enough we move on to something that seems more fun.
Great type is like the shine on your shoes. It adds appeal and takes your brand up a notch. It’s a quiet way to let readers know that you care a whole lot about their experience.
–ME :Liz” Strauss
Check out the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.