July 10, 2009 / Design

TYPE games

Written by Brady Smekens

TYPE games

As with any game, there are certain guidelines which need to be followed. Once those guidelines are mastered you will always win the type game. The type tips below outline some of those guidelines.

  • Be sure to maintain consistency in headline styles throughout your publication unless the unique opportunity arises to use a different font.
  • One of the primary purposes of the headline is to pull the reader into the story. The reader is more likely to be “pulled in” by a headline if it reads well and doesn’t look boring.


If every headline looks like this, the reader will never be able to distinguish between the stories they want to read and the stories they don’t. In the end, the reader gets very BORED!


Now this is more like it. There’s not much to this headline, but it does add much-needed visual variety.

  • Adding visual variety to your headline schedule doesn’t always require that you use every font available. Try to stick with one or two fonts for most stories. Once you’ve chosen those fonts, choose one to be the main head and use the other for a subhead.



With both of these headline combinations, only two fonts are used (Helvetica and Palatino). This combination would be used on all stories-except those that have display headlines. This establishes consistency, but offers some variety.

  • On special occasions you may have a story which warrants a display headline. The purpose of the display headline is to use type to “display” the message of your story. For example, you wouldn’t use the font

for a story about teen pregnancy.


With these two display headlines, the one on the left clearly “says” what it is trying to communicate-danger. A display headline needs to provide a visual representation of what the story is about. The headline on the right doesn’t communicate DANGER as well as the headline in the left.

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Brady Smekens