Please Don’t Squeeze the Letters

Remember the commercial whose tagline was “Please Don’t Squeeze the Charmin?” The premise was that Charmin toilet paper was so soft, customers couldn’t resist squeezing it every chance they got.

The same thing happens with typefaces. People can’t resist electronically “squeezing” and “stretching” letters to make them taller or wider. Don’t do it. Here’s why:

It Looks Desperate

Typefaces are drawn with carefully considered proportions. When you change those proportions electronically, they become distorted and don’t look right.

how to make a brand look professional by respecting the typfaces you use

You may be trying to fill the available space by squeezing or stretching type: not a good idea! Remember, injecting white space into your page is one way to make it easier to read.

It Looks Unprofessional

When letters get squeezed, they start to look badly drawn. With so many beautiful typefaces out there, why use a clunky one to represent your business?

Because there’s a typeface out there for every possible need, when you take one you own and squeeze it or stretch it, it looks like you don’t care.

Take the time to find the right typeface for the job. Here are some of the online resources where you can find fonts: many are free or low cost. Explore the categories (condensed, expanded, etc.) to find what you need.

FontSquirrel.com

Fonts.com

MyFonts.com

I know that typography is a topic that confuses many people. If you’re among them, and want to know more, you’re in the right place. Visit these Big Brand System posts to delve deeper:

Design 101: 7 Typographic Resources and 1 Type Joke

Five-Ingredient Design Recipes: A Gift for You

Why I Hate Verdana

Typeface Combinations That Work on the Web

Font Addicts Unite

Still confused? I want to know what baffles you about type. What confuses, confounds or annoys you? No problem is too big or too small. Talk to me in the comments and we’ll get it sorted out!

Comments

  1. says

    Pamela thank you! You are a wealth of information and easy to understand information at that- so thanks. Love the links.

    My question is this: how do you feel about letters that have a shadow behind them?

  2. says

    Hey Pamela,

    I used to stretch font letters but in my defense I did it only when it was like one or two words and the main purpose was for graphic design work.

    Definitely another great tip on dealing with fonts, thanks!

    Sergio

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