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Tips on Typography and Contrast in Graphic Design

When it comes to graphic design, whether one is creating a marketing brochure or a web page, contrast is key. Not only does it serve a practical purpose, in that it helps audiences read more easily, but it also offers a subtle visual attraction.

But what is contrast? There is contrast in size, color, shape and even material – all of which have certain roles depending on what sort of medium with which you are working. But one of the most overlooked aspects, not only in the art of contrast, but in graphic design itself is typography.

"Good typography depends on the visual contrast between one font and another, and the contrast between text blocks and the surrounding empty space," writes Patrick L. Lynch and Sarah Horton for Web Style Guide.

"Nothing attracts the eye and brain of the viewer like strong contrast and distinctive patterns," the authors add, "and you only get those attributes by carefully designing them into your pages."

With contrast, though, it is easy to become distracted and end up cluttering your materials. Complexity sometimes only serves to distract viewers away from the message, so it is important that a balance is found between simplicity and contrast – both for typographical concerns and the overall design strategy.

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