Image from and Mikael Cho

Image from and Mikael Cho

Typography and kerning don’t only serve to make things pretty, they can also affect how you feel and perceive what you’re reading. Mikael Cho, the co-founder of ooomf, created a guide (complete with pictures and how-to’s) on how everything from sizes, to styles, and line spacing can make you feel good.

The researchers found that readers felt bad while reading the poorly designed layout. Sometimes, this feeling would be expressed physically with a frown. The corrugator supercilii facial muscles that help produce a frown have been linked to the amygdala, an area of your brain responsible for emotion. Meanwhile, the participants who read content from the good reading layout, felt like it took less time to read and felt better. People exposed to the well-designed layout were found to have higher cognitive focus, more efficient mental processes, and a stronger sense of clarity.

Or maybe the kind of font picked means you bring preconcieved preferences or connotations to the piece, before you’ve even started reading.

Because fonts are designed by humans, there is usually some meaning attached to them. You don’t want to choose a font that is easily associated with something in our culture that’s markedly different than the vibe you’re trying to give off.

However, this doesn’t mean design should be your first priority when writing. As Cho so eloquently puts it, “no amount of good design can save bad content.”

Read the rest here.

  • sara

    oh wow. I should brush up on my typography! This is powerful. ty

  • craig_keeling

    The design (layout, typography, images/illustrations) draws people into the content. It’s the catalyst for a reader to engage with it, and helps sustain the interaction. The typeface matters a great deal since it’s the primary vehicle of that interaction.

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