Too Many Fonts
Tone down the type. Bored by the monotony of typewritten or single typeface documents, we go wild when confronted by the variety of typefaces in layout and graphics software. In most documents, two or three faces are more than enough.
Use Fewer Fonts
If you're bored with your current font collection, maybe you just need a single typeface to freshen it up. Consider some of these:
- Best Fonts for Desktop Publishing including how to use decorative fonts, best fonts for books, newsletters, wedding invitations, and resumes, and themed fonts for special occasions.
- Classy Halloween Fonts demonstrates a small selection of fonts that aren't dripping blood, paired with great clip art.
- Featured Free Fonts in Use shows off the special attributes of a few really nice and sometimes unusual fonts.
- Blackletter Fonts aren't going to work for body text but they are great for many other applications.
Type in ALL CAPS
Stop shouting. On-line TYPING IN ALL CAPS is considered shouting and is frowned on in most cases. In print, shouting is never worse than when it is done with decorative or script typefaces. It’s ugly. It’s hard to read. Just don’t do it, PLEASE!
Use ALL CAPS with the Right Fonts
OK, there are a few exceptions. For posters and similar projects there are certain fonts designed to be used in all capitals, Here's a tiny few with examples:
- Metropolis 1920 has two size of capital letterforms. Use this geometric font for creative newsletter nameplates or posters.
- Rispa Regular is another font with 2 sets of all capital letters but the lowercase is not just a miniature version of the uppercase. Mix it up for some great text-based graphics.
- Yesterday's Meal is an example of a comic book style font. It's a soft sort of shouting.
Overuse of Frames and Boxes
Don’t be framed — again. Frames are wonderful — in moderation. A frame loses its ability to emphasize blocks of text if every other block on the page is boxed.
Use Frames, Boxes, Borders with a Purpose
As long as you promise not to overdo it, I'll point you to all kinds of frames and borders you can add to your collection. Use them appropriately.
- Free Frame and Custom Border Shapes for Photoshop and Elements offers up four sets of frames from simple to complex.
- Free Edgy Shapes for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are colorful frames which would work especially nice in photo albums or scrapbooks. 8 sets including some round frames.
Punctuate like a pro. Learn how to create proper typographical punctuation (curly quotes, apostrophes, em-dashes, etc.) and hanging punctuation. Some programs do it automatically.
Use Proper Typographical Punctuation
Speaking of punctuation and similar marks and symbols, are you familiar with all of these?
- Inverted Exclamation is not really used in English but maybe it should be.
- Asterisks come in all sorts of shapes.
- Nittles are a whole bunch of punctuation marks thrown together in frustration.
- Common Keyboard Symbols may have more meaning than you thought.
- Advanced Features in Windows Character Map can help you find punctuation you never knew you needed.
Excessive Use of Clip Art
Cut the clip art clutter. Clip art is wonderful, abundant, and fun to use. It can spice up fliers, newsletters, and posters. Yet too many pictures on a page make it hard for the reader to concentrate on what the documents says. Use clip art with moderation and with purpose. Use clip art that supports your text or illustrates a point.
Use Less Clip Art
The right piece of clip art or other image can hold its own on the page without a lot of help. Here's some help finding just the right piece.