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Best practice: Using fonts effectively in themes

  • Limit the number of fonts used: To achieve a consistent look throughout your theme, you should try to use fonts that are from the same font family, and make minor adjustments to color and size, where appropriate. With the Plazmic® Theme Builder, you can set a default font for use across the theme, so you need only adjust font characteristics such as size and color. You then have to set the font family only in those cases where a different font style is appropriate.
  • Be aware of the legibility of the text: Consider how the font properties affect the user’s ability to read the text. For most fonts, you can set the following four properties:
    • Color: As with images, you should use a limited color palette for fonts. Consider the background color as well; text becomes illegible when displayed on a background of a similar color or brightness. Consider using the same color for highlighted text on all controls.
    • Bold: You should use bold text when text needs added emphasis, such as in a highlighted menu item.
    • Italics: Italicized text can interfere with readability; you should use it sparingly.
    • Anti-alias: Anti-aliasing smooths the font edges, typically improving the appearance and legibility of the font; however, it also increases the size of the theme file. Note that with very small fonts, anti-aliasing can create a blurred effect, and can actually decrease the legibility of the font.
  • Limit the number of TrueType fonts used: With the exception of BB Alpha fonts, the BlackBerry® device does not support TrueType® fonts. The Plazmic Theme Builder converts all the glyphs in other TrueType font sets into a series of bitmaps. Any changes to the properties of a TrueType font requires its own complete set of bitmaps. For example, if you use the same TrueType font in a menu but specify different colors for the highlighted and normal text, the Plazmic Theme Builder must generate two complete sets of bitmaps.


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