1. The Letterform
The ‘ductus’ represents the framework of a type. It is very important. For legible text we need typographies with a simple ductus without complex details. Those details distract from the reading process and we need the reader to pay attention to the content and not the text.
2. The Weight
When we discuss the ‘weight’ of a type, we refer to a consistent relationship between the characters themselves, and the light of the page that flows around them. If you use a light version of a type for a lot of text, reading of this text will probably become tiring and nobody will want to read it.
3. The Contrast
The contrast refers to the thickness difference between vertical and horizontal strokes. The difference between the thicker and the thinner part of the character. Bodoni and Didot are very contrasted type designs. Try to read the photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of text layed out in Bodoni. You will probably see only vertical strokes. Good type design should be able to resist a lot of copies. It must be strong, solid, but not coarse.
4. The axis
In my view, the axis of a type design could affect reading. Vertical strokes prevail in a text type and if the axis is diagonal, the eye will have trouble following that line of text. If the type uses more than one axis, a line of text will appear as if dancing which makes is harder to read. If we use an orthogonal axis, the characters can't dance.
10. The Fish Effect
This effect becomes evident when the internal counter is bigger than the space between characters. It looks very strange where round and straight characters join.
13. Is the set complete?
How many times do we note that the font we are using lacks a character? It always happens when our design is almost finished. Terrible! We must change the type and check out the complete text again. Many type designers don't design some characters such as ñ, written accents, tildes, points, commas or numbers… It is better to check the font out before using it.
14. The family
It is important to verify that the type family is plentiful, with variations in weight, black, whites and italics… Check out that the italic is as legible as the regular version. Sometimes they have a lot of rococo details.
15. Letter spacing
There are fonts with bad or non-existent letter spacing and obviously, they don't work well. A good designer will try to correct the letter spacing that he (she) considers bad, but it is too much work when all the spacing looks bad… There are software packages that can help, but it is not the same as good typographer work. Try to use fonts with correct letter spacing and metrics…
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