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the muse

Fonts: tips, tricks and other shennanigans

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People always say that they like my usage of fonts. So I thought I'd share some 'knowledge'; this is just basically guidelines that I follow, this is not the gospel truth, so don't hate on me if I call out some fonts and techniques that you like to use.

The first thing you should know is don't put too much text on your graphic. I usually go for about two lines of text, or one line that I can divide into smaller bits. It's best if your lines are about the same length. Somewhat like this

I like working with basic shape fonts. Times New Roman - style fonts are my favorite. You could use this font for all lines of text without it being too much. To me, they look best when they're small. Another type of font I love is Arial-styles. You can set these to ALL-CAPS (or small caps) and they also work really well with a lot of things. These work well small and large. I love combining the two types.

Now the layer style. I only use a couple of settings: none, drop shadow and outer light(this one not often).

This is my favorite way of using Layer Styles, a soft Drop Shadow, close to the letters, but larger in size. This creates a bit more depth, but it's still subtle.

This to me is a bad example of using Drop Shadow. It works in some graphics, but to me it's just too heavy and big. This can work on certain styles, but seeing as I usually opt for a soft style, I like to keep the Layer Style soft as well.

Oh lord, Stroke. It's my pet-peeve. This sometimes works on large fonts, set to extra large. But usually it's just out of place. It's too heavy all around and doesn't really fit a lot of things.

Now I already talked about my preference for Serifs and San Serifs, but what to do with those pretty accent fonts then?
Let me tell you how I like to use them:

I love using accent fonts! The only thing I have to say about these is use them moderately. I call them accent fonts for a reason, they should add an accent, but not be the entire text. Scripty fonts combine very well with Serifs (Times New Roman style) and San Serifs (Arial style). So instead of putting all your text in an accent font, put only one word or one line in an accent.

Here's what it would look like using all accent font

Because the font is so swishy and curly, using it too much will make it unreadable and also just... squished. Not the best sight.

Also, make sure that your accent fonts fit your graphic.
Curlz MT fits nothing. If you make a soft graphic opt for something Scripty, if you make something more grunge style, opt for a Medieval style or a Grunge font.


Whatever you do. Don't do that. please.

Now, font placement. A crucial aspect, but unfortunately I'm not of much help here. It all depends on the graphic. But here are some basic styles (besides the one already used in the very first graphic)

Aligning the accent text to one side and placed underneath each other to form a blocklike construction has always been a favorite of mine. Make sure all your final letters align properly and the words on the individual lines are about the same length.

This is what I like to call the centered block. I center all the text and size the individual lines to be about the same size, so you could fit it all into an invisible box and the letters would touch the sides.

This is a placement that should be avoided. It has been done a lot before and has thus kind of become a cliché.

That's it! All there's left to say is expiriment with font sizes, combinations, placements. Just stretch it, spin it, move it and see what fits.

I'll leave you with some Top-3s

1. Comic Sans ( doesn't this text just make you cringe?)
2. Papyrus
3. Curlz MT

Top 3 My all-time favorite fonts
1. Times New Roman
2. Baskerville
3. Akzidenz-Grotesk BQ

Top 3 Current favorite fonts
1. Vevey
2. Pigeon
3. Tomasso

Fonts used in this topic:
Vevey, Pigeon, Trixie-Cameo, Stripes and Bubbles, Susie's Hand and Tall Films Expanded

and finally some more font placement ideas:




Let me know what you thought of this blog and if you'd like to see more things like this in the future =D

NOTE: ahahaha you can only use 10 images per post. FML
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