Home Forums The Gaming Room Graphic Design in games, Heroes & Zeroes Reply To: Graphic Design in games, Heroes & Zeroes

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Well, that was fantastic, and I really enjoyed your indepth analysis of that game (which looks very interesting, I’ll check it out further). It also goes to show how many complex decisions go into what most people would think is the relatively straightforward process of graphic design.

You bring up two things which are little bugbears of mine, one you’re aware of and one you don’t comment on. The former is small thin text with an outline. Outlining text is hardly ever a good idea—in fact I might say it’s never a good idea. If you feel that an outline around text would improve communication, then you need to go back and redesign the whole thing. It destroys the integrity of a typeface (good typefaces are beautiful things that take many hundreds of hours to create, and shouldn’t be modified) and almost always impedes communication rather than improving it. A classic case is the unit cards for Hell Dorado … check out this monstrosity for example:

Hell Dorado card

The other common blunder is increasing the text size of one letter, or in the case of the game above, two. Again, it destroys the beauty of the typeface, because when you increase the size of a letter, it becomes thicker. Even Fantasy Flight Games, usually responsible for very high quality work, have made this error with the new Warhammer 40,000: Conquest LCG:

W40K Conquest

Twice in fact: in the title and the traits list!

If I increase the size of a letter in a logotype, I always spend considerable time and effort manually reducing the thickness of the larger letter so it matches the rest of the word. Not an ideal solution at the best of times, and certainly not a practical solution for an often-used design like these card titles. There are typefaces that have specially-designed large caps built-in so you can do this kind of thing properly. Just increasing the size of the first letter is a typographical no-no.

Again, most people might not notice these things; but as you very correctly point out, these are subtle ‘stop signs’ that stop the flow of communication and, I think, are just plain ugly.

Thanks GrandpaBob!