Typography is often one of the final items on a product designer’s priority list, trailing behind things like copywriting, user research and UI design. But I’d argue that it’s just as important as the content it represents. Bad typography design can undermine the most carefully crafted products – it’s like receiving a well written letter in terrible handwriting – it looks unprofessional, is difficult to read, and creates negative impressions about the writer.
With this in mind, here are 5 reasons why typography is an important part of product design.
1. Typography helps to create clear communication between the user and the interface
A well-designed typeface not only makes the text readable but also guides the user through a product. Great products integrate typography into the design, making it a seamless part of the UI, and making it easier for users to understand the meaning behind the text they see. The typography used must be legible, easy to read, and distinct in its appearance. This increases the usability of the interface, which improves the overall user experience.
2. It helps to establish a visual hierarchy
Through the use of various sizes, weights, and styles of text, the designer can create an information hierarchy that guides the user’s attention. This means that the more important information is highlighted and emphasised, and the lesser important information is de-emphasised. This way, the user can easily scan and locate relevant information, making it easier to achieve their goals.
3. It’s instrumental in designing the look and feel of a product or interface
Different fonts have different visual characteristics, and they can convey different moods, personalities, and emotions. The choice of typeface plays a significant role in setting the tone of the overall product. For instance, a sans-serif font with rounded edges conveys a friendly, approachable personality while a sharp, serif font implies formality and elegance. Therefore, typography can evoke an emotional response from users and affect their perception of the brand, making it a crucial element in product design.
4. It as a massive impact on accessibility
Good typography design ensures that users can access and use the product or service despite any visual impairments. For example, font size, weight, and contrast play a crucial role in enabling users with vision difficulties to read the text. Moreover, the designer must consider aspects such as letter spacing, line height, and legibility to improve the readability of the text. Thus, typography design must adhere to accessibility guidelines to ensure that all users can enjoy a positive experience.
5. Typography is an essential part of branding and brand identity
It helps to create brand recognition by giving a unique voice to the product, service, or application. Typography can distinguish a brand from its competitors in the market, making it memorable to users. Consistency in typography across all touchpoints of a product or service also enhances brand recognition and creates a sense of trust and familiarity with users.
In conclusion then, typography plays a crucial role in determining how users perceive and interact with a product, service, or application. It’s influence stretches way beyond just readability, and includes the aesthetics, communication, visual hierarchy, accessibility, and branding of a product. By understanding the basic principles of typography design, product designers can create interfaces that are intuitive, engaging, and accessible, and design products that look good and are enjoyable to use.