Typography Basics For Print On Demand

Typography is the most important component of graphic design.

Typography is an art form that is best used when a person is familiar with the basic rules of topography.

This article is going to cover all the typography basics that you need to know. 

Anatomy of Typography
Courtesy of Visme.com

Typography Anatomy is a special vocabulary that helps to describe parts of the individual letters in a typeface. 

Typography Anatomy

For more detailed information on specific parts visit A Visual Guide to the Anatomy of Typography. This is an amazing infographic guide that breaks down typography anatomy in detail.  

Spacing / Kerning

Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, in order to achieve a visually pleasing result.

Alignment Options

There are four key alignment options: Left, Center, Right and Justified. In t-shirt design alignment is used interchangeably, however, the common alignments include center & left.

Center Alignment

Left Alignment


There are a few easy ways to make your content stand out. Contrast can be created by scaling, adding weight, using a different form, adjusting the structure, or switching up the colors. 

Add Weight

Use Different Form

Adjust Structure

Mix Different Colors


We have a whole blog post about color psychology. Colors help to draw attention to something important but too many colors weaken the effectiveness of the use of different colors. 


Hierarchy is used to arrange elements in graphics in a way that it flows well for the viewer’s eyes.  

Font Combinations

Not all fonts look good together. The more fonts you use, the busier your artwork becomes. In order for your font to be readable, you want to limit the number of fonts to two or three. Especially on apparel, it’s important to prioritize readability. Readability attracts customers to purchase.

To pair fonts, there are a few rules to follow: 

Same Font: Same family font with different weight 

Here, I simply paired together Aileron Regular with Aileron Thin to give the viewer an illusion of clean and non-conflicting typefaces. 

Different Font: Use two entirely different fonts to showcase the contrast  

In this particular instance, you want to make sure you don’t use two decorative fonts. 

Prioritize Readability

Pretty fonts are fun but that doesn’t mean they are easy to read. Audience that can’t figure out what you are trying to say won’t purchase a product from your store. 

Choosing Font For Your Business

Whether you are starting a new business or a brand new collection, it is important to know what vibe your audience should expect from you.

Every font has a unique personality. Choose wisely. You don’t want to give up a wrong vibe. 

Example: A seller is selling apparel that supports Military Veterans. That seller might want to consider using more traditional font rather than something playful. In order to be a respected business, your fonts should match the business’s overall objective. 


Font that is considered traditional, classic, or formal. See examples below. 

Sans Serif

Fonts that are considered modern, edgy and very readable. See examples below. 


Fonts are considered fancy and up-close personal. See font examples below. 


Fonts are considered quirky & creative. See examples below.

Where To Find FREE Fonts

What Format To Install

TTF (True Type Format) –  TTFs are more limited because they don’t offer a wider range of characteristics. 

OTF (OpenType Format) – OTF format include special characters (Glyphs). 

  • Language character sets
  • Old-style figures
  • True small capitals
  • Fractions
  • Swashes
  • Superiors
  • Inferiors
  • Titling letters
  • Contextual and stylistic alternates
Glyphs OpenType Font
Courtesy of Adobe.com

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