When designing your custom label, the words all the way down to the letter are part of the look. Here are five easy tips for crushing the typography design game. Let’s dot our i’s and cross our t’s like champs!
Consider the mood
Words tell us what we need to know. They make us laugh and they make us cry. We read books, online articles, billboards, recipes, and ending credits. Words stripped down can do quite a bit; but, what happens when you dress them up? This is commonly known as the font or the typeface. The font you use is its own design element showcasing the mood, voice, and brand of your company. The look and feel of your custom label and packaging can change dramatically from font to font.
Knowledge Drop: What’s the difference between a font and a typeface? These words are mostly used interchangeably nowadays, but here’s the tea…
Typeface! This is the name of a family of type, like Times New Roman or Helvetica
Fonts! This is the version of that family/typeface: the size, the weight, the style, like Times New Roman Bold or Helvetica Light in 12 point
Hierarchy: size and weight
These are your kings and fighters. The larger your font size, the more prominent and high-ranking it will become and feel. The heavyweight fonts (think bold) will muscle on in with the feeling of importance.
Think of things in terms of a newspaper headline. You have the headline peaking interest, letting you know what is important and giving you an overview of the story. This would be perfect for your brand or product’s name. Second tier, the sub-heading, usually smaller, offers a little more clarification or additional info about the headline. In this case, this might be the tagline for your product. Finally, the body copy is the full story, which is the smallest font size. This perhaps would be an ingredients list.
Oooh! Extra thoughts: A heavy, bold font might make reading an ingredients list distracting and difficult.
Contrast: fonts and colors
Always remember, if you’ve got words, let them be easy to see and read! Designing with contrast in mind will offer that up to you on a silver platter.
First, keep it simple. Don’t use too many typefaces when designing (two different typefaces max, in most cases…the title graphic above actually has three different typefaces, check it out!) and let them be contrasting in style. A serif and a sans serif font pair well together for a contrasting, but harmonious look.
Second, contrasting colors aid in focus and make text easier to read, not blending in with the background. Color is powerful; it makes you feel. Color identifies your brand and evokes emotion. Don’t let it clash though. We’ve all picked an outfit that just didn’t work, avoid the clash when designing.
Knowledge Drop: What’s the difference between a serif and a sans serif fonts?
Serif! The little strokes on the end of the letters. They make for most excellent body copy and are easy to read. In the example above, a serif typeface is used on the words “Contrast Well.”
Sans serif! They don’t have the little strokes on the end and rock it with large titles and a modern feel. A sans serif font is used in the second line in the example above.
Readability: size, alignment, and spacing, oh my
Your mood is down pat, the hierarchy has been established, and the contrast is night and day, but its still gotta be readable. It’s seems like common sense, but words are hard to read if they are too small, or if a large body of text is right aligned, or if lines of text are too close together.
Knowledge drop: For your custom label order, font sizes smaller than 5pt get hard to read! Make sure to print out your PDF proof at home or double check your printed proof for legibility before approving and sending to press!
Fonts are informational beauties of endless variety. Play around, have fun. Learn the rules, then break them. Keep in mind even though fonts can be completely decorative, they usually have a functionality. To relay information. If you’re working on artwork for your custom label and have questions, give us a call! We have a team that is ready to help.