Working With Typography. 101

Steven Morrison
June 1, 2021

We use words each day of our lives it is only when we use these same words on a screen that we think about how we display them. The ways you can play with typography are endless. You can go from the simply use of contrasting fonts for the body text and headings to the more intense using your typography to tell a story.

Serif and Sans Serif.

Serif and Sans serif and descriptors of font styles and are two of the most commonly used font styles for digital design. The key difference in between serif and sans serif are the tails on the letters, as is shown in the example below.


A word commonly used in design it simply means what is most noticeable and what is least noticeable on any given page. Using this technique is easy as it can be as simple as changing font size and weight. Doing this can change it so the heading is the biggest thing on the page is what you want to be seen first.


While this is important in anything you are doing in design it can be critical when working with typography. When working with layout you are aiming to layout your text in a way that dictates how the reader sees the content and how it flows for them. In most cases (For New Zealand at least) you want the reader to work top down and left too right. Here is a simple example of a standard layout for a text heavy article. Another thing to remember when working with larger amounts of text is to break up the text so your reader is not overwhelmed with how much there is.


Once you have sorted out what to say and what the layout will look like colour is next. While many places may have a design style guide with preset colours to use. It could be the case that you are making something for yourself or for a small company that does not have a style guide. If this is the case there are some key things to think about when choosing colours. One such thing is using the right colour to match what you are trying to say. You need to make sure the colur you are using maches the text.

Other important things to remember when picking colours is the temperature of the colour. The colour choice should match the feeling you are trying to go for with the design as a whole.

If you are picking colours you should have some knowledge of colours that work well together known as complementary colours.

Colour Temperature
Complementary Colour

Hope this information helps you in your tyopgraphy adventures.


Image of Steven Morrison with the OptimalBI logo in the background.

Steven Morrison is a design innovation grad who’s part of the team here at OptimalBI, so you’ll find him squirreling away working on stuff that helps make us look good. 

Connect with Steven on LinkedIn, or read some of his other blogs here.

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