Category: Design Basics

Typography in the News: IKEA Changes Font

It’s not everyday that a change of font becomes business news. But recently, Ikea made the change from Futura to Verdana and many people took notice. The story ran in the business section of my local paper, and was also covered by Time Magazine, and in blogs and news sources across the Internet. Ikea, the Swedish housewares and furniture store prides itself on the high-quality design of it’s low-cost items. Probably because it’s so focused on design is why so many designers noticed and criticized their change of font. According to news stories, Ikea has used the Futura typeface for more than 50 years. Talk about consistency in brand identity! But they recently changed to Verdana to be able to have the same font used on all of their international sites and in both print and web. Why font matters? What is the difference between Futura and Verdana? Both are sans serif faces, but Futura was designed for print applications… Continue Reading »

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Typesetting Tips: Think Twice Before Centering the Type

One thing I’ve noticed over the years, working with clients, is that they love centered type. It’s not that I hate centered type, but like many graphic designers, I think there is a time and a place for it. I’ve come up with a theory as to why non-designers love centered type. It’s because they feel like they’re designing. They are making decisions about the placement of typography and overriding the default settings of their word processing program. The default setting, in programs like Word, is to have all the type the same size and flush left. When you choose to center type, you’ve made a decision about the layout; you are doing some measure of typography design. This is similar to the decision to make something bigger, smaller, a different font, or a different color. The problem, or potential problem, with centered type is that when the rest of your type is flush left it breaks the rhythm of… Continue Reading »


Emily Brackett featured in Portland Press Herald

An article I wrote for the Portland Press Herald was published in Tuesday’s business section. If you missed the print edition, you may read the article online here. “Stay strong by staying on message” talks about the importance of consistency in branding. The article includes an explanation of why consistency strengthens your brand, and tips for keeping your identity working across a wide variety of formats. BTW, sorry this is being announced a bit late. I’m on vacation, so didn’t realize it published until today.


8 Typography Tips: Make your Proposals and Letters Shine

Most of use type day in and day out as we run our business. We type letters, we send out marketing materials, we write proposals and make presentations. Here some easy things you can do to make the typography in any of these materials more professional looking. Use only one space after the period. Or any punctuation. Many of us were taught to put two spaces between sentences when we learned to type, but this is not necessary. When you include that extra space you end with little gaps. Using just one space creates a more even look to a paragraph of type. Don’t indent your paragraphs if you have a line break. The point of indenting the beginning of a paragraph is to mark the start and to make the organization of the content more visible. The point of a line space after a paragraph is the same thing. Therefore you need one or the other, but not both…. Continue Reading »


5 Tips for More Readable RSS Feeds: Good Typography & Design

If you write a blog or have other content that people subscribe to in an RSS feed, read these 5 tips to make your feed more readable. Before the tips, ask yourself whether you want to have the entire post available in the feed, or if it will be truncated. If it’s truncated, readers are forced to click to your site to finish reading. Reasons to truncate: To increase revenues for advertisements that are only seen on your site To increase the chance that a reader will move from your blog post to another part of your site Reasons to provide a full feed: It is more likely that readers will actually read your content, as there is a significant drop off whenever you ask people to click through to read the full post If you are working to provide expertise and build brand presence, it’s more important that people actually read your thoughts, regardless of where they do it… Continue Reading »