Most designers often misunderstand the discipline of typography. This is because most have not been trained on typography and what meaning words and symbols give to their work. Typographic mistakes can also make work look too cluttered together or too far apart, therefore, giving it that confused look. Avoiding typographic mistakes can guarantee that the work will be used in future. This article will focus on typographic mistakes commonly made by designers and how to avoid them.
Too Much Spacing and Mixing Up Kerning and Tracking
One of the most common mistakes committed by designers is confusing kerning and tracking. These are very similar, but they have a different effect on a designer’s work as they are not the same. Kerning deals with the alteration and adjustment of space between two characters such as letters. It is mostly used to adjust white space between letters which have a lot of it between them. Tracking, on the other hand, deals with space between letters in an entire word, reducing or increasing space on either side of the word. This is mostly used to adjust type in order for it to fit in a particular line perfectly.
Too much positive tracking can lead to the reduction of legibility making it hard to read the work. Most people also make the mistake of inadequate leading, this is putting too little space between lines of a type, and this is commonly known as line-spacing. Too little line-spacing makes the characters feel clutched up while too much makes texts feel disconnected. This can also happen by the use of too many weights and fonts. The general discipline of a designer is to use three fonts unless in situations where one needs to use more. In such occasions, it is advisable not to introduce too many typefaces and weight in the fonts as it makes the text feel disconnected.
Legibility of a Text
Designers especially those new to the field might use text colors that are not aligned with the background color or set a text to have insufficient contrast. This makes the text hard to read. Others use background colors that are almost similar to the text color. It is advisable that designers check the legibility of their designs; this is because most people end up not reading text that is not legible or clear. Some designers might use double spacing after a punctuation mark such as commas and full stops; this was mostly used in the old days of typewriters in order to avoid placing characters too close together after a punctuation mark. However modern word processing software has corrected this, and if one is still using the old copywriters, it is best to let them know.
Most of these typographic errors are committed without knowing. Sometimes designers misuse characters and marks; it is, therefore, fundamental for designers to learn how to use what, where, and the effect on the text. There are, however, cases where designers have a good reason for using bad typography, this when for example they have technical limitations such as systems that will split content out.