7 Tips for Amateur Type Designers

You, a type designer?

Of course you are.

You are if you make presentations in PowerPoint or Keynote, or if you have a resume, or create signs or brochures or ebooks or even a blog.

And sadly, it seems that the bar is low and most people have trouble reaching it!

So, at the risk of the one-eyed giving driving directions, here are seven tips. There’s a  PDF of the tips below (illustrated) right here. Feel free to share.(My goal isn’t to teach you the answer, it’s to get you worried about asking the question!)

At the risk of offending actual (talented) designers, here’s my quick list of seven (mostly for print… the web is a slightly different story):

  1. If you want professional results, hire a professional.
  2. Don’t use the built-in fonts that come with your PC. (Type is cheap. Invest.)
  3. Headlines in sans serif. Body in serif. (Easy tip—headlines are bold and condensed.)
  4. Black type/Light background. Don’t screw around unless you have some sort of design point to make. (Goth bands, it’s all yours).
  5. Headlines look great reversed. With two caveats: 1. don’t overdo it. 2. make sure you leave plenty of black around the border.
  6. TYPE SIZE! Too big is good. Too small is good.Just right might be a problem.
  7. Line spacing! Use less or more than the automatic. 14 point type probably deserves 15 or 16 point spacing.

Feel free to add your own tips or check out some books I’ve highlighted here.