There are thousands of typefaces out there. How you use them in an infographic or other creative project reveals how professional you are. Putting thought and purpose into your choices will give your infographic amazing polish. I’ve put together five tips for using typography in your next infographic project.
Contrast is about giving the eye visual differences to help the reader journey through the piece while keeping things interesting. Nope not a technical definition, just what I think.
- Thick (bold) paired with thin text
- Serif paired with Sans Serif A few good starters: Aksidenz Grotesque and Raleway,
- Use one typeface with at least 4-6 different weights
- Keep sizes at least 2/3 bigger – scale using golden ratio so there is a clear difference in titles, headings and body copy
Use Three or Fewer Fonts
Limit yourself to three or less fonts. The best choice is to find one really good typeface with a lot weights and use a light, black/extrabold, and regular weight. If you pick only two, make one Sans Serif and one a Serif font like suggested above. Too many fonts look busy and distract from your message.
Keep Sizes of Headings and Body Text Consistent
Styles are a big help here, where you set a consistent look for each type of text in your project. Then you only have to change the size or weight of a font in one place. Consistent sizes for text blocks like titles and subheadings is a professional touch and also gives your work visual hierarchy, making it easier to read and understand.
Don’t Go Smaller than 10px (.625 em)
While people can zoom in, try to keep a minimum size of 10px if your infographic is mostly hosted online. Smaller sizes are easier to read when printed. If you prefer ems or want to set a minimum size using CSS and increase from there, you can use a tool like PXtoEm.com to determine sizes.
Does the Type Fit the Piece?
Typefaces are not just practical they are visual and contribute to the mood and look of the piece. Do they fit? If it is a fun topic, is the heading font friendly but still easy to read? Are you using an old school 80’s computer screen style font on a project about popular Halloween costumes? Most good infographics out there have a fancy bit title type treatment and then a simpler treatment for the subeadings and very simple type for the body text. Take a look at sites like http://www.coolinfographics.com or informationisbeautiful.net. Even better – go look at magazines and see how they use a main font set but then deviate successfully (or unsuccessfully) for individual key articles to enhance the message.
I hope you found these tips helpful. What are you struggling with when it comes time to choose typefaces for infographic projects?