Working with fonts in Photoshop? Keep these 5 essentials in mind

By Rosa Merced

Posted on 01-15-2021

Choosing the wrong font can completely derail a project, but since fonts are hidden in plain sight, the importance of picking the right option can easily be overlooked.

Consider these five key elements to help you select the perfect font for your next project:

1. Emotion

Every font has its own voice. Some are quiet. Some are loud. Some are silly. Some are serious. Your font can scream with futuristic fantasy or proclaim your design tastefully traditional. The font you choose will help firmly establish the tone and personality of your project.

If you know what emotion you want to convey but are not sure which font is up to the task, try using font tags to browse Adobe Fonts. Simply search descriptive terms like “friendly” or “rough” to discover options that match the mood.

Superbowl party invitation with a list of food to bring.

You can convey a wide range of emotions through the font — or fonts — you use, like the light-hearted, excited tone communicated by the fonts in this party invitation. Image by: Nathalie Rodriguez.

2. Legibility

If you cannot read the font, why use it in the first place? As designers, we are demanding more of our fonts than ever. They must perform well across a huge range of environments — from tiny smartwatch screens to massive billboard ads and every type of physical and digital display in between. Experiment with your font in a variety of sizes and configurations. It should always be recognizable and readable.

Refescate con la pina. Portpine

Choose fonts that are legible across all platforms — digital and physical. If viewers cannot read them easily, your message will not get through. Image by: Lily I Santgon.

3. Distinctiveness

While making sure your font is still functional, do not be afraid to take creative chances. Every design is competing for attention. Especially for brands, a distinct and well-thought-out font system is the perfect way to stand apart from competitors.

Velo Viking brand on gray background.

The distinct font choice for Velo Viking fuels its brand identity — a friendly take that hearkens back to the brand’s Danish roots. Image by: Maarten Deckers.

4. Flexibility

Remember that a font is not a static choice. Fonts are systems of design that need to flexibly grow and adapt over time. Choose a font that has the potential to pair well with other fonts, colors, and styles, opening the door for you to expand your project by adding new elements into the mix.

Carton of Scoop and Cones strawberry icecream.

Each font in this branding and packaging design project for Scoop & Cones Ice Cream Company has its own unique style but still complements the other fonts in the design. Image by: Marka Network.

5. Reliability

Fonts are beautiful design elements, but they are also pieces of software. The font you choose must be reliable, properly licensed, and of commercial quality. The easiest way to guarantee reliability is to get your fonts from a trustworthy source — like Adobe Fonts.

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And you will now find that Adobe Photoshop on desktop and Photoshop for iPad — as well as InDesign and Adobe XD — all contain Adobe Fonts auto-activation. This feature means you can say goodbye to the missing fonts dialog and resulting visual scramble. As long as a font is part of the Adobe Fonts library, it will automatically activate the minute you open a project, even if you do not currently have that font installed on your device.

Animation
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When you are sharing your projects across platforms and incorporating elements like motion, your fonts must be reliable. Image by: Artico Estudio.

Ready to work with fabulous fonts? Download Photoshop for your computer or iPad, activate Adobe Fonts, and explore Adobe’s collection of tutorials and helpful resources for getting started.

Topics: Creativity, Design, Photography, Creative Cloud,

Products: Creative Cloud, InDesign, Photoshop, XD,