Overview Edit

Text is commonly used in tie up many different visual elements into a cohesive work. They are located all over a given space and are used to help establish the tone. There are many different text styles, and the proper text depends on the type of mood that the person wants to give. Text can be oriented in such a way to help emphasize a specific message or idea.

Definition and History Edit

The History of Typography - Animated Short-0

The History of Typography - Animated Short-0

History of Typography

The use of text started around the Middle Ages. During that time, text was seen as a form of art. Multiple people would spend time focusing on perfecting minuscule details on a page. As for the readers, they would read through the manuscripts slowly and admiring the words, paintings, and the visual presentations. Today, people read text just to obtain the information rather than admiring the way it is written.

Text is oriented in a way where people are able to navigate through information at ease. In Williams's The Non-Designer’s Design Book, text can be either designed in a spatial sense. By orienting text within space, different sets of information can be emphasized. In Wysocki's The Multiple Medias of Text, text is designed based on lettershape, style, size, and overall shape.

Examples Edit


Decorative Typefaces


Typeface Styles Edit

There are many different styles of texts. According to Wysocki, decorative typefaces are used in headings. Such examples can be seen on the right. As you can see, the this type of typeface seem to have an artistic design, which is a great feature used to attract a group of audiences.


Typefaces for Extended Readings

On the contrary, work that is used to be informative have a more simplistic design to them. These types of work are known as Extended Readings. Examples different font styles that can be used can be seen on the right.

Text can also be bolded, italicized, underlined, CAPITALIZED, or EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN to emphasize certain parts of a message or idea. Consider the following example:

There will not be a final for the class vs. There WILL NOT be a final for the class

As you can see from the latter example above, the words "will not" are emphasized to ensure that the audience understands the take home message. On the contrary, the sentence n the left does not contain any emphasis on any parts, which is just seen as a normal statement.

Orientation Edit

In addition to the different styles, a message can also be emphasized based on the way that it's oriented through a given space. In Williams's work, he focuses on four different orientations: proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast. The overall goal of properly orienting text is to be able to combine unrelated elements into a cohesive work.


Bullet points look disjointed from the list

Proximity Edit


Bringing the bullet points close together with the content combines two different elements into one

Proximity is the idea of "grouping related items together." When different components of a project are brought together through closeness, the reader is able to associate elements a lot greater. One example in which proximity can contribute to binding different parts of a work together would be when a list is bullet pointed or numbered. When the number or bullet points are distant from the overall content, they can be see as each line having their own element. However, when the numbers or bullet point is closer to the overall content, they are seen as one work as a whole.

Alignment Edit

Alignment is the idea of creating a visual connection with the different items within a work. One particular example can be seen in the example below. The example below shows how content within the page can be oriented. The best orientation is the orientation where your eyes are able to properly move through a work with respect to one another. As seen below, the text orientation seen in the middle and on the right are not aligned proper, making the paper really hard to read. Out of the three examples below, the best orientation can be seen on the far right. This is because when we read content on a page, our eyes move from left to right, and up to down. Although all three examples show some sort of uneven space, our eyes are able to tolerate the alignment on the left a lot better.


Repetition Edit

An example of repetition can be seen in a document. Within the context of a document, all the different components contain the same alignment and the same color scheme throughout the page.

Contrast Edit

The purpose of contrast is to attract the viewer's attention through the use of colors and size. An example can be seen in a document. In order to attract the reader's attention, the headings of every section should be either bolded, have a distinct color, or be a larger size than the overall content.

Further Readings Edit

  • Use Word's style set to give your documents a makeover

This article shows how to properly format your word documents and make them presentable through the use of text styles and space.

  • Type Classification

This website shows examples of different typefaces while providing a brief history of the different text designs.

  • An eye movement analysis of highlighting and graphic organizer study aids for learning from expository text

This article talks about how study aids such as highlighting plays a role in a person's learning. Highlighting text on a page is an example of contrast.

  • Interpreting maps through the eyes of expert and novice users

This article is a research done on individuals to see how their eyes move through a given work.

  • A New History of Temporal Typography Towards Fluid Letterforms

This article talks about the transformation of different texts due to different mediums.

Keywords Edit

Space, Writing, Font

Citations Edit