In part one of this article, we looked at the importance of:
1) typeface look and feel;
2) typographical variation; and
3) use of cases.
This time, let’s look at:
4) how to make your text content easy to read;
5) serif vs sans serif fonts; and
6) how to best use text emphasis.
#4 Polished & Easy To Read
Kerning refers to the distance between two letters. While most body text that is typed out is kept to whatever the default kerning is, often when it comes to logo and brand design, graphic designers must provide some custom kerning to ensure the spacing looks consistent and professional.
Note the subtle details:
- The distance between the w and the o is the most noticeable. Because of the slant of the w, and the roundness of the o, the automatic (default) kerning does not look as nice.
- The distance between the first B and the subsequent r is better optimized in manual kerning.
Talk to your professional graphic designer or media manager to ensure that your logo & major publications have proper kerning throughout for a polished appearance.
Proper and generous leading in your paragraphs makes it much more pleasant and easy to read, not to mention make the whole look and feel of the page more comfortable. Leading that is too compact makes the page feel too dense and heavy, with not much breathing room.
While this is an extreme example, it illustrates very well the importance of “breathing space”.
#5 Serif Fonts Are Easier To Read than Sans-Serif
Fonts with the extra ticks at the end of the strokes are referred to as serif fonts. Some argue it was designed to help the eye flow from one letter to the next naturally, and rightfully so. It is true that serif fonts are easier to read – which is why many online publications (although not REW.ca) and most published books still use the serif font despite the abundance of more modern, sans-serif fonts that have straight edges.
Forbes, one of the leading magazines online, uses serif fonts in its paragraphs.
#6 Bolding, Italicizing and Bullet Points
When emphasizing certain points, it’s OK to bold, italicize or underline certain sections. But it’s important to not abuse this technique. If too many items are emphasized, none of it is emphasized at all at the end.
Bulleted (unordered) or numbered (ordered) lists are a great way to present key information without dragging it out into a paragraph, and well-used lists also have a positive impact on search engine optimization of your website.
Bullets are useful for:
- making it easier to scan through points;
- shortening length from full sentence to point-form;
- making it easier for search engines to crawl critical keywords;
- reducing clutter on webpage; and
- helping important information stand out.
Great content is only meaningful if conveyed in its full glory to your target audience, and great presentation and detailed design makes the difference. After having designed hundreds of websites, digital media and print/traditional media, the difference of paying attention to these subtle yet important items were significant in its ROI:
- Carefully selecting the fonts and sizes
- Paying attention to the kerning and leading (spacing) where applicable
- Heading sizes and using bold or italics
- Incorporating lists in a clever way
These will help your property descriptions, blog articles on the market conditions, and other publications get more attention, reach more customers, and expand your recognition as a knowledgeable REALTOR®.