Type tips to make the impact you want

Readability and legibility and their impact on your success

Readability and legibility – what do they mean?

And why you need to know.

In our previous post on typefaces and fonts we looked at choosing a type family for your brand, or campaign and what you need to consider when making your choice.

Beyond personal style preferences, two key considerations are readability and legibility.

The readability of something, whether that’s a poster or a publication, is judged by the speed and ease with which it can be read. It takes into account the whole – whether that be the whole poster or the whole publication as readability is not just about the type used, but impacted by the page layout and how text has been set out on the page – how have titles and headers been used for instance.

It’s for the sake of readability for example, that we’re generally (there are of course always exceptions to every rule!) against using justified text, as we set out in this post on the use of justified text.

Legibility meanwhile is more narrowly focused on the type.

If you’re putting together an informational campaign you’ll want your type to be as legible as possible. However, if you’re putting together a brand campaign designed to challenge the viewer then you might deliberately choose a type which isn’t legible so as to make the viewer stop and take notice.

It’s therefore important, as ever, to take a step back and try and view what you’re doing from the perspective of your target audience. What is it you want them to feel on seeing your piece of work? What action is it you want them to take? Are you challenging them or guiding them?

All these factors and more need to be taken into account when developing a piece of work.

Speak to our graphic design team today to bring your work to life.