Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fun With Typography

Lots and lots of work this week, which is why I've been silent--I'm setting up my new store! Real announcement in the next post... =)

But I have been making layouts. This layout is actually a scraplift of neat freak's, because I just love her spare, minimalist style (and I happened to have some elements that looked like hers =). Here it is:

Heather Taylor, Hidden Treasures

I really enjoyed her idea of type on type, and I just took it a little futher by having 3 different opacities. I was surprised at how legible it still remained! I always try to arrange type so that it has a purposeful relationship to the elements around it. Although neat freak's type actualy went into her photo, that wasn't going to work here because of the very different light levels in the water (bright to dark), but shoving it up against the photo still produced that really intense focal grouping, highlighted by the darker spot in the middle, and the yet darker cursive type right above that.

When dealing with typography, you want to remember readability and legibility issues. Legibility deals with how easily or not the brain processes what it sees; readability is how the brain makes meaning of what it sees. O

One aspect of legibility in this layout is the fact that the brain can make sense out of the tops of letters more easily than the bottoms (if you were to cut them in half horizontally), as well as from the beginning of words more easily than the end (if you were to cut them in half horizontally). This is one of the reasons I chose to scoot the overlapping "804 trail" to the right--not just because the "hidden treasures" is also aligned that way, but because this leaves the top half of the upper word visible, and the beginning of the lower word visible, so that they're each recognizable.

Meaning-wise (a readability issue), the title ("hidden treasures") is the most important element, which is emphasized by its size and lighter color. Contrast is what's at work here--the light against the darker background attracts the eye. The other chunk of important info is "804 trail", which is where the photo was taken--that is the next-sized nugget, leaving the linking words "along the" as the smallest--if the eye doesn't catch those, it won't really impact the meaning, or readability. Contrast (dark against the lighter background of the title) also plays a role here--it was fun working the two parts off of each other like that. Wikipedia has a good beginning explanation for these issues, btw.

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