Title Typography: 8 rookie mistakes that scream DIY Volume IV

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Welcome to the final installment of 8 Rookie mistakes. Here’s the recap from weeks 1 through 3:
Mistake # 1 – Using white, black, primary yellow, primary red, primary blue #2 – Using flat, solid colour text
#3 – Text too close to the edge
#4 – Using too many fonts
#5 – Text that doesn’t fill the space#6 – Text with a black stroke outline (cringe)

For our final two “mistakes”….
#7 – Cheaping out using system fonts. Any time you choose Helvetica, Ariel, Times New Roman, Apple Chancery, Brush Script, Courier, or any number of system fonts that come preinstalled on your system, you are showing your inexperience. There are plenty of fonts available on the internet, (even some that are free!) that will make your efforts look more professional. Trouble is, this is a bit of a double edge sword. Visit one of the FREE FONTS sites, and you are likely to go full on KITCH, ’cause there’s so many fun and funky fonts! Try to resist the gravitational pull into the black hole of Kitchy. Oh, and a final word on the subject, you must make SURE that the font you chose is free for Commercial Use, not just for personal use.

#8 – Text that is all one size and all centeredThis one seems like it doesn’t really need explanation, but it happens all the time. Try to think creatively about how you place your title. If it’s one word, centering could be the only option. But if it’s more than one word, play around. I typically will make words like The, or And The, Of The, and such like, slightly smaller. You could also make your Caps larger just to give it some variation. I might stair step the words, or creatively place them asymmetrically. Occasionally, especially for Romance, I will make the cap a different, complimentary font.

Bonus tip #9 – Don’t use the word “By” in your by line. It’s generally only used, occasionally, on children’s books.

That concludes my sage advice on Title Typography. We’ve had some nay sayers along the way. Mostly professionals who know how to use some of these “mistakes” skillfully. And kudos for that! But these tips are for the DIYers and newbies. I can’t make them pros in 8 steps, but hopefully I can make their efforts look a little better.
I hope that’s been helpful!