Typography is a vital component of design.
Unless you are fortunate enough to be gifted the opportunity to refine the logo of a brand with a worldwide identity that requires no text, striking the right balance between an effective font and a powerful symbol is a key element of logo design.
That balance is just as important when working on projects like web design, flyer design or banner design, where typography is at the forefront of the design.
Despite this, finding the right font for a design can be difficult and finding the right place to find the right font for a design even moreso.
That's why I'm here to help with some resources to find great fonts, some vital tips to improve your integration of type into your designs and advice on how to attempt The Holy Grail of Typography: creating your own font.
Simplifying your font resources
There are a bucketload of resources online to find good quality fonts for you to use. It's actually a little overwhelming, like trying to buy a pair of shoes in downtown Tokyo.
Both feature thousands of fonts available for free commercial use, organised in logical and both sites are updated with new, inspiring content on a regular basis. As a little cherry on top for our designers from France, Dafont even provides a version of their website in French.
Integrating the right font into your design
Finding great fonts is one thing but finding the right font to fit your design is a little trickier.
While I claim to be the right person to instruct you on how to do this effectively, there is someone who can: John Boardley from I Love Typography.
John is an expert on typography and his superb blog is the best place to go on the web for tips and information on how best to utilise typography in design. His Web Typography Guide is a must read for any designers who dabble in the web design field while On Choosing Type is the most comprehensive guide on the web of how to select the right font for your design.
A small word of warning though: with the quality and quantity of articles on display you can literally lose hours of time on John's blog. Trust me, I know from experience.
The Holy Grail of Typography: creating your own font
To me creating a font seems like one of those impossible things to do: like building giant Lego sculptures or sitting through a death metal album. But just as there are people out there who make astonishingly good Lego sculptures and others who enjoy the "melodies" of a band like Slayer, there are those who will enjoy the challenge of attempting The Holy Graily of Typography: creating their own font.
The benefits of creating your own font are clear: it gives you complete creative freedom and control, therefore allowing you to put a unique stamp on any designs you submit for a client. But be warned: it's extremely hard work.
Nevertheless for those willing enough to give up their social life for a couple of weeks, the lovely folks at I Love Typography have compiled a comprehensive two-part article outlining in detail the processes required to create your own font.
What are you waiting for? Get designing!
Understanding and utilising effectively typography is a vital skill for designers.
But with the resources and information that has been provided in this post you can get more familiar with the processes required to choose and the right sort of fonts and implement then more effectively in your design.
What's more, you can attack your next project with renewed vigour and confidence, knowing that your work will improve as a result.
Do you have some terrific typography resources that would be happy to share with others? Have you ever attemped to create your own font? Share your experiences with typography with the rest of the 12designer community by leaving a comment.