Establishing a Visual Language: Typography

Design Systems
February 28, 2024

Simply put, typography is more than just choosing a font; it's selecting the perfect font that align with the brand’s essence while making sure it’s legible on all devices. A well-thought-out design system uses typography as one of its key components to creating a consistent and recognizable look for all brand communications. To choose the right typography, it's essential to understand the importance of how different fonts evoke different emotions. That's why it's essential to choose typography that matches your brand personality and creates a compelling impact on your audience. By focusing on typography, you can create a system that enhances your visual language and delivers a more impactful message to your audience.

Beginners Tip: If you are struggling to start with design systems that have clean typography, we would highly recommend using Inter. Inter is a free, open-source sans-serif typeface designed by Swedish designer/programmer Rasmus Andersson. It was designed to work well on screens as a UI font and features a large x-height. The family is available in nine weights with matching italics and a variable font version. You can download it from Google Fonts.

Inter typography for design systems
Inter Typeface

What is the concept of Typography?

Typography is a key component of this language, as it sets the tone for written communications and reinforces a brand's identity. Choosing and using typography in a design system can be a daunting task, but it's crucial to pay attention to the details. The importance of typography lies in its ability to convey a message and evoke a desired emotional response. Consistency in typography, along with other branding elements, helps to create a cohesive and recognizable identity. When developing a design system, it's essential to consider typography as a foundational element and to have a plan in place for its use throughout all components. By doing so, a brand can establish itself as trustworthy and dependable, and ultimately, help to achieve its goals.

Specifications of typography in design system
Typography in design system

Typography is a crucial part of establishing a successful visual language. It is the basis for how text appears in design and helps to create an overall feeling or aesthetic for the website, product, or brand. When creating a design system, one of the most important elements to consider is typography - how you choose and combine fonts, font sizes, and font styles to communicate the intended message.

Factors to consider when choosing

When selecting typography for a design system, there are several important factors to consider. First, consider how your typography relates to the overall aesthetic you are attempting to achieve. Does it fit with the brand’s style? Are you looking for a traditional, modern, or playful feel?

Examples of different fonts
Examples of different fonts

Second, decide the typeface(s) you want to use. It's important to select a font that is legible and matches the look and feel of the design. Choosing more than one font is also common for establishing visual hierarchy and creating contrast between elements.

Third, when it comes to font size, consider what information is the most important to convey. For example, if you are designing a blog website, you may want the titles of posts to stand out more than other text elements.

Finally, font styles can be used effectively in design systems for emphasis or contrast of specific words or phrases. Some commonly used font styles include bold, italic, and all-caps.

By considering these elements and incorporating typography effectively into a design system, you can create a successful visual language that communicates the intended message to your audience. It is important to remember that typography should always be used thoughtfully and in balance with other design elements for maximum effectiveness.

When building a design system, typography is an essential component that should not be overlooked. By considering the factors above and taking the time to select and combine fonts carefully, you can create a visual language that conveys your intended message clearly.

Visual different with different typefaces
Visual different with different typefaces

Factors to consider when using typography

When it comes to creating effective designs, typography plays a crucial role. Typography sets the tone and mood of your design and can communicate important information to your audience. As such, it is essential to consider factors such as the typeface, font size, and hierarchy when using typography.

Additionally, your typography must align with your branding elements and design system to ensure consistency across all marketing materials. By carefully considering these components, you can create visually appealing designs that effectively communicate your message and elevate your brand. Remember, typography is an important aspect of design that should never be overlooked.


Ultimately, when approaching typography for a design system, consider all the possible, diverse options. Experiment with combining typefaces to find a cohesive system that will suit your needs. Consider clear hierarchies and establish a reliable visual language that connects different elements of the system. Finally, experiment as much as possible—particularly for freelancers who are looking to stand out and captivate potential employers or customers with their designs. A well-curated typographic system can instantly complement your work’s aesthetic, making it stand out from the rest. With creativity and some experimentation, you'll be able to find the perfect combination for your design projects quickly and easily.


Fluent2 Typography by Microsoft

Typography by Atlassian

Typography by Shopify Polaris

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