By Paul Airy
A shared history
Communisis and I have a few things in common. Firstly, we both have roots in print. Two generations of my family were employed by Waddington’s - commonly known for printing and publishing the board games, Monopoly and Cluedo. I studied ‘Design and Reprographics’, at College, creating graphic designs, and then realising those designs by making plates, mixing ink, and operating presses. Secondly, we both hail from Leeds!
A love of typography
My love of type, typography, and letterforms comes from having these roots, and has remained with me throughout my career, right from the outset, when, at college, I’d lovingly draw each character (the ampersand being a particular favourite of mine), for my designs, or compose metal type for letterpress printing, or see type come to life on an Apple Macintosh computer screen.
Typography in email
The computer screen. Yes. Well, that brings me up to the present, because typography is just as important now, on screen, as it’s always been. Email is a text medium, and therefore typography is quite at home there.
This week, in my workshop, ‘HTML Typography in Email (Advanced)’, at the Email Innovations Summit, Las Vegas, I explored why HTML typography in email is so important, and talked through, and walked through, principles and techniques to empower the attendees, and their respective brands to use it to deliver great email experiences to their recipients.
Some of the things I talked about pulled the past right into the present. The age old typographic em unit, for example, is used in digital typography today, and we still talk about x-heights and leading (though leading’s referred to as line-height).
Some of the things I talked about are timeless. Great design, is great design after all, and using the key elements of text, imagery and space, makes for great emails.
Some of the things I talked about are digital through and through. A typical, and popular example with attendees, being web fonts, which enable brands to add their own personality to an email. So, in my workshop, I demonstrated how to implement a font from the Google Font Library.
Finally, and underpinning all of this, I talked about accessibility, which is such an important consideration, if brands are to be inclusive, and ensure none of their recipients miss out on the communications they’re sending to them.
Type at our fingertips
We, at Communisis, now have all this knowledge, experience and expertise at our fingertips, and are well placed to help our customers, old and new, deliver great email experiences to their recipients. Brands are recognising the importance of email, more than ever, and they want to do it well. So how do they do it well? Here’s a few of the principles and techniques I walked and talked through in my workshop:
From Vegas to virtual
This was the fifth time, in four years, I’ve delivered this workshop, and it’s grown in popularity year on year. I’ve delivered it to attendees from a range of sectors, from a range of brands, from American Express to LinkedIn, to The New York Times, though this is the first time I’ve delivered it without stepping out of my front door! Hopefully, next year, I’ll be back in the Silver State again!
Our email products, such as Rapid Comms, are built on some of the principles I’ve mentioned. To hear more from me about Communisis email capabilities, join our Rapid Comms Webinar next week, June 10th at 10am. Follow the link below to register.