[INFOGRAPHIC]: The 10 Commandments of Typography

Do you need help with typography? Here is your holy grail of modern typography that will act as your ultimate guide to font selection…

Combining and choosing fonts is an art. Fonts do not come easy, but once you pull off the right typeface, it can make your graphics stand out and, who knows, that type may even come out as the most powerful element in your design!

Our previous infographic, Foodies Friction – The Logo Battle! had talked about how the different brands are always competing with one another and how their logos usually end up resembling each other so much. Now, we shall explore the much interesting topic of typography in the field of communication design.

It is true that the beauty of typography lies in its endless options, convenient variations and its colossal nature and that typography knows no boundaries and it’s like yet another galaxy out there waiting to be explored and known. However, even though, typography is open ended and vast with a lot of creativity to it, there is only so much one can do and apply. Hence, it is always good to know the tips to make unique logo design, web interface or packaging, in order to save yourself from the trouble of experimenting too many fonts on your design.

The infographic below illustrates the, “10 Commandments of Typography” that could be followed as quite the basics when it comes to selecting fonts. Even though typography is an art and art is supposed to be subjective with minimal parameters, these rules can still be applied in order to save time and too much experimentation! Consider the following 10 statements as the best practices of typography…

The 10 Commandments of Typography

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• Update – The Spanish Version:

[Infografia] Los 10 Mandamientos De La Tipografia

Recognizing the interest of diverse communities in our Infographic, we have created a Spanish version of the ‘10 commandments of Typography’. Checkout and let us know what you think in the comments below. [Note: Thank you Ana, Franrome, C. Sandes, Santiago, Marcos and all those who contributed for your invaluable feedback, you guys are awesome!]

Los 10 Mandamientos De La Tipografía

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Evan is an expert in digital marketing and has run several successful marketing campaigns. He has been working in the social media space since 2008, with a focus on design services, user interface planning, branding and others in the graphic design industry.

  • alfredocamposga

    No es fácil encontrar material bueno sobre el uso de fuentes ¡Gracias!

  • Annette

    It’s interesting for me to find what fonts to avoid. I always seem to gravitate to them when designing things where they be appropriate, but for some reason I end up using another font. It’s as if I like the idea of the font, but once I use it I don’t find it pleasing to the eye. Who knew? Thanks for this useful info.

  • Dom

    Hi Evan, thanks for the info!
    A couple of notes though: The infograph is a bit confusing, the color code does not provide other function than distinction. Mixing positive with negative statements without a call out is somewhat confusing. Also the statement could be more clear: e.g. ‘Use different weights of fonts in the same family’ and the fonts displayed are from different families.
    Best,
    D

  • mermaidsue

    It’s a good start – but –

    I have to be honest – 2 & 3 are the same. 5 uses fonts in some of the examples that ARE similar (not contrasted), and 9 should actually demonstrate the weights within the family (rather than show contrasting weights of different families). Oh and most importantly you forgot Brush Script in #10.

  • Edward

    #10 is inaccurate. it’s missing Hobo… one should NEVER use Hobo.

  • Kmaity

    10th one is the best

    • PatriotGal2257

      Also Brush Script!

  • Patricia

    This is great! Beautiful and helpful. Thanks!

  • gjgustav

    Where does one research what fonts belong to what era?

  • Marts

    I was recently forced to break rule #10, because a client INSISTED on using Papyrus for their book design. I hate myself, but sometimes you have to give them what they want.

    • FinalEyes

      I had to do that, too, when a client insisted on using Mistral. I hated it even when it was brand-new trendy.

      • XmasKlaus

        Mistral begs for overkill and there are plenty waiting to oblige.

  • Costa K

    Excellent.

  • Dave

    This is very silly one. 8 out of 10 of what is supposed to be the 10 Commandments of typography are about mixing fonts. That’s like 8 out of 10 Commandments of architecture is about bricks.

    Also note that Liberty is a knock-off version of Handel Gothic, which is far less appropriate than Papyrus in the sense that we should be using the authentic ones, not a pirated version. Speaking of those “never use” fonts, there are plenty of meh fonts until the 9th rule (Arial, Masque, which is probably a free knock-off based on the NASDAQ logo, Novelty, a Souvenir knock-off, Ocean Sans and African, ripoffs of Stone Sans and Neuland respectively, and the list goes on…). The choice of fonts and their combination is quite random I have to say.

  • nerkles

    How is Arial not on the “avoid” list?

  • Ascender

    10 Commandments of Evan. Not Heaven. And mostly subjective.

  • Stephen Looney

    Evan, this info-graphic sums up so many important typography rules, and answers a ton of questions that I get asked daily from my 20K+ followers on YT and my blog http://graphicdesignertips.com/. I have already shared this out on all of my social networks suggesting each person print one and keep handy.

  • FinalEyes

    I gave a talk at the Portland Design Festival called “Foundations in Type.” One of the questions was “Do you have anything to say about font pairing?” It stopped me cold. Not that I didn’t have anything to say…I just didn’t want to inflict it on the audience.

  • gabbyisactive

    Geneva over futura, I’m in love witchoo.

  • Jay Rutherford

    This is very simplistic. It assumes that typography consists only of choosing fonts. But I’ve even heard colleagues say things like: “which typography did you use?”, when what they meant was “which font”. I agree with the poster who said it’s like saying “architecture is about [choosing] bricks”.

  • Oscar

    This infographic is very ironic, considering that your logo was made with Harabara