The Value of Line Value

In our effort to find the most effective layout, we use many different pieces of the design puzzle to draw and keep the attention of the viewer. No matter how much software we use, or how many bells and whistles we apply to our design, in the end even the simplest sign must be readable and pleasing to the eye.

One of the most useful tools for avoiding monotony is the simple procedure of varying the line value of our letter styles. (This is also called weight.) Value is the relative lightness or darkness of a font. Similarly we can control a message by combining line weight with contrasting colors.

  • A sign in which all the wording has the same weight is actually very difficult to read because the eye does not know where to focus first.
  • As the line values are varied we can draw attention and direct it to any part of our layout and make any layout more readable.
  • By arranging our copy properly and using varying weights of fonts, you can produce a layout that has a foreground, a middle ground, and a background.
  • By using a basic font like Helvetica in a range of line weights, and using ample negative space, you can direct the eye and still allow a layout to breathe.
  • By placing the darkest color value against the lightest color value we can draw the viewer's attention to our priority copy immediately. The less important copy receives less contrast in color value.