Field Notes: Typography and Language — The Career Code


The typeface used throughout the entire book is Avenir. In headlines, it is often a heavier version, while the body copy uses the standard version. In the book’s title and in each section that says “Code #X,” all caps is used. The rest of the book, even the headlines, uses both upper and lowercase letters. The main typeface attribute that differentiates the book’s headlines from the body copy is a larger size and heavier weight.

This typeface is appropriate for the audience of college students and young professionals because it looks modern and chic, while still being professional. In the heavier weight, it looks bold, which is an attribute that resonates with the career-driven reader. In the standard weight used in the body copy, it is easy to read, perfect for larger chunks of text. It is also slightly feminine-looking, which makes sense for this book’s audience, which is likely mostly female and geared towards females.


The book’s title, The Career Code, is straightforward and to-the-point about being a career book, but it skews young with language that resembles that of phrases like “girl code” or some other “secret code,” which readers want to be a part of. The subhead, “Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career” echoes that youthful sense. The “Must-Know Rules” reaffirms the goal of making the reader desire to be included in this secret code that everyone needs to know. The “Strategic” and “Self-Made” speak to the reader’s career-driven personality, and the “Stylish” draws in the more feminine side of the reader, who may be interested in fashion (as the authors come from a fashion background). The only promo on the cover is “+27 Life Hacks Every Woman Should Master!” which adds to the young, join-this-secret-club-of-knowledge voice.

The section headlines are relatively long. For example, one code is “Your Resume Speaks Before You Do, So Make Sure It’s Articulate” rather than just “Resumes” or something more direct. Another example of a longer section headline is “It’s Who You Know That Gets You There, and What You Know That Keeps You There” about making personal connections to help land you a job, rather than something like “Who You Know” or “Networking.” The voice in these long headlines makes the advice seem more conversational, as opposed to a blunt set of instructions.

There aren’t pull quotes that repeat a quote from the body copy, as there often are in magazines, but there are some blocks of text pulled out that resemble that type of pull quote. Instead of repeating a quote from the body copy, this text is often a key takeaway or additional piece of advice that warrants a larger size to draw attention to it. The styles of these differ, and there are not many, but some examples are below.

Because there are not photos and all the text is compiled by the same two editors, there are not captions, credit lines, labels, or bylines.

All in all, the language of the text is fun, youthful, and written on the expectation that the readers really want to know more about the career world and be let in on the secret world of adulthood. By crafting the phrases and headlines in this way, the editors created a sense of desire for the readers to want to learn as much as possible and soak up the knowledge provided by the book, which serves as an authority on this topic.

“Consider Your Money, Honey” — playful, youthful tone


“Pull quote”-style summary/takeaway


“Pull quote”-style takeaway that covers a whole page