Let`s be honest – when it comes to alignments of the text, we do not pay much attention to it. Either we stick to some habits (like pushing that Justified button) or we just do something that merely looks more or less OK.
My goal today is to teach you something really mindblowing (I suppose). Something that most of us have not thought about.
You can actually make an impact by aligning your text properly. In fact, surprisingly…
… text alignments can make powerful subconscious statements.
After reading this article, I promise, you will look at alignments differently. And maybe even will have a new perspective when looking at ads, posters, and visuals around you.
Good Old Justified for a Formal Look.
I believe that the Justified button might be one of the most popular in text editing software. Since I was a kid and got my first PC lessons, I was told to always justify the text.
Today I am fully aware that this alignment is one of the least friendly for reading and can create lots of unnecessary white spots in between words if done incorrectly.
The justified look is often used in official documents and, guess what? This alignment is excellent to give a formal look to your design. Even bureaucratic.
Downsides? It is not a friendly alignment, feels pretty stiff and engineered. Also regarded as unnatural.
If you make invitations to a formal reception or some official letters to high-ranking politicians – push that Justified button.
Centered Alignments for Traditional and Historical feel.
Centered alignments are often regarded as traditional and historical. They can feel a little authoritative as well, as centered text stands proudly … well … in the center of your space. Centered alignments can help to stand out a bit, as they are not natural as well. Essentially you can achieve that “Please do it now” feel, having a strong statement.
You might notice that most of the ads have their headlines centered. And most likely for a reason. Advertisers want you to act, even obey, not think or find ways to cooperate.
Good for any brands or products that possess traditional values and / or have to deal with classics.
Align Left to Make Friends.
The most natural alignment – left. In western cultures for sure (keep in mind that Middle Eastern cultures usually read from the right side). This is how we read – from left to right. Therefore making left alignment the most natural, organic, friendly. It also gives a feel of cooperation and openness to collaborate.
If these are your business values – consider aligning your copy always to the left. If you make a sponsorship offer and you are open for discussion about the terms – align left.
Downside – everything that is natural, fails to stand out. Left alignments are so common, they do not necessarily get the attention easily.
Align Right to Stand Out.
Who might be that crazy to use the right alignment on a regular basis? Although yes, I agree that it is the hardest alignment to read or pick up easily, there are benefits.
Because it is so rarely used, it gives the opportunity to stand out. By aligning right you are essentially telling the world – I am completely different. I do things like no one does. I do not follow the rules.
Secondly – right alignments are unusual, sometimes even rebellious. And sure – they help to get desired attention.
Consequently – use this alignment with caution. If your brand values have to do something with going against the norm, then do the right alignment for headlines only. Remember that body copies should still be easily readable. Therefore left alignment will be the better choice for large descriptions.
Do not use right alignments for traditional, classic and formal representations. Unless you want to to have this disruptive feel of breaking the rules.
At the End of the Day.
Next time when making any visual, think about it – I would advise you to pay more attention to the text alignments. And of course use them correctly so that you can communicate your values and messages properly.
Finally – here is a recap of all the alignments and meanings.
What do you think? Was this information useful? Leave your comment below!