Good typography is an art form and more than any other field of design, it is typography that can communicate a message. Depending on the choices – type pairing, type size, to name a few – typography can alter the face of a project.

Hence, the role of typography is quite important when it comes to the designer to get the design project right on point.

And the very first part of learning proper typography is to know what mistakes you are supposed to avoid. So, without any further ado, let’s talk about the most common typography mistakes that you should avoid.

Using too many typefaces



When it comes to choosing typefaces, less is more. A designer has to get the point across with as many fewer fonts as possible. Or better yet – go for simplicity. When it comes to typeface, minimalism works best – though you need to balance all that space around to make the piece look good.

Using multiple fonts in a single piece will only make it look crowded, so, that’s a definite no-no. Sprinkle a few fonts in your piece like you would do with a strong spice – a little bit at a time and see how your piece goes!!

Going for the boring typefaces

There’s a good collection of typefaces out there – you only need to look at the right place. Day by day, new foundries pop up with talented designers coming up with a new font now and then.

Seeing this, there’s no excuse for you to use the same old typefaces when you are about to start on a new project.

They may be classics, but clearly, you should avoid going for the ‘Helvetica’ or ‘Calibri’ font as your default choice when there are so many new fonts lying there for you to use. Just broaden your horizon and try choosing a unique, if not a beautiful type for your project.

Choosing the wrong typeface

There are a few typefaces, which go along with everyone and as such – they can be added right from a bank logo to a bottled water rebrand. But amongst them, there are many typefaces, which have appropriate usage. You are not going to use Comic Sans on your website, are you?

Ignoring orphans

In the world of type, orphans mean the words or sentences that are left out as they don’t fit when typesetting a paragraph. Either they are one or two stragglers that are left behind at the top or bottom of the page.

It is suggested that you should try to avoid orphans either by adjusting the line length or by tracking.

Avoiding long line lengths


Have you noticed the length of the lines of the newspapers or books? They are neither too long nor too short. Try to avoid scanning in too long a line or else the reader will have to move their head from side to side as if watching a tennis match.

While, on the other hand, don’t end a line too abruptly. To get an idea, try leafing through your favorite book or newspaper, and you will know.

The book publishers and the newspaper editors have spent decades trying to optimize the length of the lines for the perfect read. There’s no better teacher than them.

Say no to typos

It’s not exactly related to typography per se, but you should keep this mind for all of your projects. You have spent countless hours getting the perfect typeface, tracking and line length for your project, but do you know that a single stray ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ can ruin your entire project and make it look shoddy.

Before handing in your project, it is recommended that you go through it once just to make sure that nothing is out of place and everything is clean and clear.

Using all caps

It doesn’t need to be told that typing with caps lock is considered rude – it makes it seem as if you are shouting at the other guy. Unless it is the headline, you should avoid using all caps, and when used in the middle of a sentence, it breaks the evenness of the entire paragraph.

If, however, you need to put a heavier emphasis on any of your lines, consider using a heavier weight of your typeface or better yet, underlining that particular line. But remember, don’t use both – or else, it will look the same as using all caps.

Aligning the text the proper way

Most people find it hard to align the text and even when they do it, it ends up getting ragged. Here’s what you should do – when you are done with the type part, it is recommended that you should run your eye down the paragraph’s edge properly and look out for any ragged edges.

Make sure that your text is in a uniform line. It should look neat and not run all over the place.

Tight tracking

‘Tracking’ is a term that is commonly used in the world of type. It means the space between the letters when they are viewed as a whole.

Depending on the type, tracking can be either dense or loose. But the main problem is that many designers make the mistake of using too-tight tracking to condense words in a tight space. The result – the text not only looks crowded but it also gets very hard to read.

Here’s what you should do – try to space out your will not only give room to the letters but it will also look neat and clean.

Scaling the typefaces properly

No doubt that the typographers are very talented – after all, they spend countless hours on the strokes and swashes that make up the details of a piece. And unless you are one, scaling and stretching the typefaces should be best left to them.

That being said, if you still want to change the height or the width of a text, it is suggested that you should try playing with the tracking, or better yet, select a different weight of the typeface.

So, there you have it – the top ten mistakes that pretty much every designer makes. Mistakes tend to stick out like a sore thumb and a simple one can send a negative perception of your message or company.

Overlooking them is possibly the worst that you can do as a designer – so do learn to recognize some of the common mistakes that you might have made and use this piece as a checklist before deciding to wrap up your project.

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