1. Lesson 101: The Basics
First and foremost, a typeface is a collection of letters where a similar pattern or design is shared across all the alphabetical and numerical entries. In simpler terms, it is the pull-down bar with endless options as fonts in every writing software.
Fonts are selected with various factors in mind like readability, style, legibility, and more. You also need to focus on the requirements of the baseline, the invisible line where the letter begins and ends. A uniform baseline is preferred when it comes to formal documents. A non-uniform can be used for children’s books, comics, and other whimsical variants. Also, take a look at the weight of the typeface. In essence, how bold a letter looks. Calibri Light has a different body tone than Calibri.
2. Serif or Sans Serif
A Serif, mainly used in calligraphy, is an extra stroke at the open ends of the letters, lowercase or uppercase. Sans serif, as the name suggests, are ones that omit the final stroke. Serif fonts, generally, make their appearance in lengthy documents like bank forms or lawyer formulated agreements. The extra stroke of the brush provides additional space between individual letters making it easier for the eye to follow the line and read accurately. Fiction and vintage travel books, A Little Life, for instance, are written using Serif fonts like Baskerville, Sabon and more. Meanwhile, Sans serif fonts like Comic Sans are employed in fanciful notations, that is in books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, comics, children’s book or interviews.
3. Legibility and Readability
Legibility refers to the design of the font in question, its width, height, serif or non-serif type, and more. Decorative fonts have low legibility as compared to the non-decorative ones. For example, users will have a harder time while reading a post written in Tobin Tax than Sabon. Hence, Sabon has higher legibility. Take The King, for example, the headings and titles of books are often written using non-serif fonts to show continuity among letters. However, it is always advised to use conventional letters forms to make the writing user friendly and get more accurate results.
Readability, on the other hand, is the combination of colour, font, tracking, kernel, leading, and more. Readability also focuses on the size of the font. An example being, the Terms and Conditions of any application are written in a smaller size as compared to the rest of the application making it less readable and more complicated. That is also a reason why many people choose to ignore the conditions!