Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why Space Is Just As Important As Words In Graphic Design

One of the key components when it comes to any sort of graphic design work - from websites to business cards and pamphlets to blogs - is the type that you use. Choosing the font, size and colour of your type can form a major part of the project. An area that should be of equal importance, however, is the spacing around each of the letters in your type and the leading that is used in the block of text as a whole.

Firstly, what is leading? Pronounced ledding, the term refers to the spacing between each of the lines of type. It is often confused with line height, but this actually refers to all of the space from one baseline to the next (the baseline is the spot where the letters sit). Leading is the smaller space that exists between the bottom of a letter on the first line and the top of a letter on the line below. It could be looked at as being the line height minus the text height. It's importance for graphic design lies in the fact that leading can have a big effect of the readability of the text - if the letters are too far apart or too close together, the text will fall sharply on the eyes.

Unfortunately, there is no secret formula for deciphering how much leading your work will need. This is because there are actually a number of graphic design factors involved in making this decision, including: type size, colour, readability and the desired effect of the text as a whole. Using the same point size of the font you are using for your leading is often a good starting point, but it may still require some tweaking to get this spacing just right.

Tight (or negative) leading is the term used when the lines of text are closer together than the point size of the type. Even if the spacing doesn't appear that close together, if it is below the point size it is considered as being tight. On the other hand, loose (or positive) leading is the term used when the lines of text are further apart than the point size of the type. It is also important to keep in mind that the background colours used in your graphic design project can have an effect on your leading. For example, darker backgrounds tend to read better with loose leading, whilst lighter backgrounds can benefit from tight leading.

Now that you understand why space and leading are just as important as the words that are being used in your graphic design project, you are in a much better position to use this to your advantage. Try experimenting with different types and leading to see what sort of spacing tends to suit your style of design better and what sort presents your work in the best light.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7254337

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