Select your language

Suggested languages for you:
Log In Start studying!
StudySmarter - The all-in-one study app.
4.8 • +11k Ratings
More than 3 Million Downloads
Free
|
|

All-in-one learning app

  • Flashcards
  • NotesNotes
  • ExplanationsExplanations
  • Study Planner
  • Textbook solutions
Start studying

Typographical Features

Save Save
Print Print
Edit Edit
Sign up to use all features for free. Sign up now
Typographical Features

We often neglect the power of typographical features and fail to appreciate them. Type is present all around us, from the box of our morning cereal to our daily text messages. Even what you are reading right now! Typography plays a very important role in the way information is received by the reader.

Typographical Features meaning

Typography is more than just the font, size, and colour of the text. It is a carefully designed combination of these elements in addition to the structure of the text which evokes certain emotions in the reader. Thus being able to convey the message as intended by the user.

Typography definition

So how exactly would we define typography?

Typography can be defined as the art of arranging text and information to make it legible, clear and visually appealing to the reader.

Why do Typographical Features matter?

There are 3 main reasons typographical features are important:

1. Typography helps build brand recognition:

Effective typography helps build brand recognition, which means that the audience or users will slowly start to associate the typeface used by the company with the brand itself.

Some of the most well-known brands use recognisable typography. This includes the font, the colour, the layout, and the relationship between these elements. Sometimes just the font can be instantly recognisable. The curling 'C' of the Coca-Cola lettering, or the 'W' of 'Walt Disney'.

2. Typography can impact decisions made by the audience:

The typography used can play an important role in perception.

Typographical Features Fonts StudySmarterFont influence perception (StudySmarter Original)

The above picture shows the same sentence written in two different fonts and colours. The first one is more pleasant and is something that you would probably find in a letter written to you. On the other hand, the second one in red has an element of mystery to it and is like one that you would find in a horror movie poster! So, it is important to use the right typographical features, to determine the meaning conveyed to the reader.

3. Typography can impact the attention of the audience:

One of the most important aspects of writing is to be able to capture the attention of your audience. Typography plays an important role in this and is a deciding factor on whether a brand is successful or not.

Typographical Features Impact StudySmarterTypography can impact the attention of the reader (StudySmarter Original)

Which one do you prefer? I'm sure you picked the one on the left. This is because it is so much easier to read compared to the right one! This is where typography comes into play.

Elements of Typography

There are seven main elements of typography:

1. Typefaces and Fonts

A font is a graphical representation of text and a font family refers to the whole collection of a particular font that shares a specific design feature. The typeface includes the entire family of fonts, whereas a font is only a particular graphical representation of the text. Often, typefaces and fonts are confused with each other. The font size and font-weight are the two elements that help determine which font is to be used while taking into account the type of text, context, and audience.

The different types of font categories are - serif, sans serif, cursive, fantasy, and monospace. Each font can be associated (for some of us) with a certain emotion.

Use a maximum of three fonts to get the best results.

2. Contrast

Contrast means difference, especially when that difference is very noticeable. Sometimes it can also mean 'opposite', like black and white. These two are contrasting colours, and this is what makes black text stand out on a white background.

Typographical Features, contrasting colours, umbrella and waterfall, StudySmarterContrasting colours can make text (or images) stand out (Pixabay)

In the above picture, the umbrella stands out and is evident, despite its small size in comparison to the waterfall in the background because its colours are strikingly evident in relation to the black and white background.

The use of contrast in the text helps to convey an idea and emphasise certain words by way of their colour, size or style. It will make the text more interesting and attractive. You can use contrast in your text by experimenting with colours, style, font and size.


To see if you have created a good level of contrast between the colours in your text, try using greyscale. If it is still clear then it is good.

3. Consistency

For text to be effective it must be consistent. For example, using the same style for headings, sub-headings and the main body would create a better experience for the reader.

4. White space

We often neglect the power of white space (also called negative space). White space is essentially the blank space surrounding text or design on a page. THINK: Less is more

5. Alignment

Another important feature of typography is alignment. This means that there should be equal spacing between the different elements of the text. Alignment also determines where on the page your text sits: left, centre, right.

Using margins helps to achieve the perfect alignment, like in this article for instance.

6. Font Colour

Font colour is the colour that is used to write characters both in print and online. We use font colour to allow for differentiation to emphasise important points and to make the text appealing. When deciding which font colour to use it is important to consider who the target audience is and what tone the piece of writing has. Different colours can convey different emotions.

Red - red is generally used to attract attention. This colour is associated with passion, energy and danger.

Orange - orange is normally used to call for action as it is associated with creativity and enthusiasm.

Yellow - Yellow is associated with happiness and optimism.

Green - Green is associated with nature, a healthy lifestyle and finance.

Light Blue - Light blue is generally linked with the feeling of bliss and tranquillity.

Dark Blue - Dark blue is regarded as noble and associated with empowerment, freedom and strength.

Purple - Purple is often associated with luxury, wisdom and beauty.

Pink - Pink is used to demonstrate femininity, playfulness and love.

White - White is associated with purity and innocence.

Black - Black is seen as a colour of power, elegance and mystery.

Colour is an important element with respect to typography and one of the most fun and exciting elements to work with. Colour goes hand in hand with contrast and they are dependent on each other. Nailing these two aspects will make the text stand out to grasp the attention of the reader, but if you have got it wrong it can be a disaster.

Colour has three elements:

  • Value

  • Hue

  • Saturation

7. Hierarchy

Hierarchy is another important feature of typography. This is related to the structure of the text. Hierarchy can be emphasised using style, font, and colour. For example, in this article hierarchy is established by using different colours and font sizes for the headings and main body. This makes it easier for the reader to follow the information.

Note: Think about a time you made your revision notes or a mind map where you used colours and font sizes. This is an application of hierarchy.

The next time you read a newspaper, try to identify the elements of typography discussed above. A newspaper is one place where you can easily notice these and also compare different articles.

While writing, keep in mind that the personality and tone of your work will help decide the kind of typeface you want to use.

8. Font size

Font size is the size of the characters on the screen and in print. It is usually measured in points, pixels, or pica. When deciding on the font size it is important to consider the age of the audience and the type of text you are writing. It is suggested to use a maximum of 4 font sizes in any particular text.

Font sizes can be of 4 kinds - header, default, secondary, and tertiary.

Header font size

This is the biggest font size and is usually the heading. Headings and subheadings are usually written in two different font sizes to enable a contrast between the two.

Default font size

This is the font size that is used for the main body of the text and is usually 12 points. However, this again depends on the type of text and the audience.

Secondary font size

This font size is usually 2 points smaller than the default font size and is used for the less important information, for instance, the sources or page numbers. However, there are certain exceptions, certain legal documents, or the terms and conditions on the offer of your favourite brand. All this is written in small print too.

Tertiary (Caption or Label) Font Size

This font size is occasionally used when you want to establish a hierarchy in the main body of the text. Labels, captions for images, or sometimes even bullet points use the tertiary font size, which is different from the default and secondary ones and usually smaller than those two.

Font sizes are important to allow for clarity, differentiation, and emphasis where required.

Typographical Features - Key takeaways

  • Typography is the art of arranging text and information in a manner that makes it appealing and easy to read

  • Typography is carefully considered for the following reasons:

    • Helps build brand awareness

    • Can impact the decisions of the reader

    • Can impact the attention of the reader

  • Typography has the following elements

    • Typefaces and Fonts

    • Contrast

    • Consistency

    • White space

    • Alignment

    • Font Colour

    • Hierarchy

    • Font size

  • In typography, consider the personality, purpose, and tone of the text you are aiming for

Frequently Asked Questions about Typographical Features

Typography can be defined as the art of arranging text and letters in order to make them clear, visually appealing and legible to the readers. Typographical features include various aspects such as font, colour, alignment, etc. 


Typography is important as it helps build brand recognition and has an impact on the attention of the audience.

Some examples of typography include; typeface or fonts, contrast, consistency, white space, alignment, colour and hierarchy.

Good typology conveys the message as intended by the user, making the information legible, clear, and visually appealing. It usually adds to the structure of the text and can evoke certain emotions in the reader.

Typography is the carefully designed combination of elements such as font, contrast, white space, alignment, and font colour. Typography plays an important role in the way information is received by the reader. 

Typography has the following elements:

  • Typefaces and Fonts
  • Contrast 
  • Consistency 
  • White space 
  • Alignment 
  • Font Colour 
  • Hierarchy
  • Font size

Final Typographical Features Quiz

Question

Good typography helps the reader to __________. Fill in the blanks.

Show answer

Answer

Perceive information

Show question

Question

Why does typography matter?

Show answer

Answer

It helps to build brand recognition

Show question

Question

Brand names often have an instantly recognisable typography. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

Typography allows us to convey the intended message to the reader. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

Typography doesn’t help make text clearer, only more appealing. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

Typography that is easy to read is more appealing to the reader. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

Contrast refers to when we use similar colours together. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

Which of the following are elements of typography?

Show answer

Answer

Consistency

Show question

Question

Alignment refers to the equal spacing of a text and whether it sits to the left, right, or centre. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

How does colour make the text appealing?

Show answer

Answer

It can convey certain emotions

Show question

Question

Hierarchy refers to the:

Show answer

Answer

Structure of the text

Show question

Question

Hierarchy can be emphasised using style, font, and colour. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

We can decide the kind of typeface according to the ____________ and _________ of our work. Fill in the blanks.

Show answer

Answer

Personality

Show question

Question

There is only one font size. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

Which font size tends to be the biggest?

Show answer

Answer

Header

Show question

Question

Typography is a combination of multiple different elements. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

Name 4 elements of typography.

Show answer

Answer

Some elements of typography include; typeface or fonts, contrast, consistency, white space, alignment, colour and hierarchy.

Show question

Question

Black is a contrasting colour to white. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

It’s important to have no white space on a page and it is filled with as much information as possible. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

60%

of the users don't pass the Typographical Features quiz! Will you pass the quiz?

Start Quiz

Discover the right content for your subjects

No need to cheat if you have everything you need to succeed! Packed into one app!

Study Plan

Be perfectly prepared on time with an individual plan.

Quizzes

Test your knowledge with gamified quizzes.

Flashcards

Create and find flashcards in record time.

Notes

Create beautiful notes faster than ever before.

Study Sets

Have all your study materials in one place.

Documents

Upload unlimited documents and save them online.

Study Analytics

Identify your study strength and weaknesses.

Weekly Goals

Set individual study goals and earn points reaching them.

Smart Reminders

Stop procrastinating with our study reminders.

Rewards

Earn points, unlock badges and level up while studying.

Magic Marker

Create flashcards in notes completely automatically.

Smart Formatting

Create the most beautiful study materials using our templates.

Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.