The Importance of Good Typography in Web DesignPublished on: Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Typography can be used as a tool for improving user experience and usability. Good typography keeps people reading; allowing the people to focus on the content and not the formatting due to proper legibility and readability.
When our eyes have to work harder to interpret text, we’re more likely to give up on reading the content.
Good typographical design guides people along, introducing them to the amazing content on your site.
Of course the sales page may be the visitor’s ultimate destination, but you must provide them with evidence of your value first.
Here are some elements of good typography:
Contrast is probably the most important thing to keep in mind. Different typefaces can either complement or resist each other to create a bit of tension. Typefaces that appear too similar can weaken the message and confuse the visual language of the design.
One of the easiest ways to create contrast is by pairing a serif with a sans serif. It can generate a simple and cohesive look to the text if you select the right typefaces. A serif is the little notch at the end of a stroke; some typefaces have it and some don’t. For example, Helvetica is a sans serif, or without serif. Serifs dramatically change the look and feel of the text.
Long stretches of reversed text (light text on a dark background) may be readable for short paragraphs, but it can be tiring to the reader for a longer length of time.
One of the best ways to differentiate content is to vary the type size. Colors and pretty boxes might help, but different sized type, used consistently throughout, will signal the importance of the pages’ elements.
Choosing a typeface with a good selection of weights and styles gives you more flexibility without needing to introduce more typefaces. For example, you could pair a font’s thinner weight at a larger size with its boldest weight at a smaller size.
Also consider eye movement, and how they flow through the body of text, this is where the concept of visual hierarchy comes in.
White space helps focus the attention on the text if used right. Web design revolves around a sense of movement; users are searching, skimming, and scrolling. White space can assist your reader in staying focused, apart from large bodies of tight text that may stress the eyes.
Many people don’t realize the psychological effect that typography has in conveying a message. Good typography enhances the character of the site and adds a tone of voice that subliminally reinforces how the content is perceived.
You can use any typeface to make a word, but what does that typeface actually say about the word?
Typography exists to honor the content and successfully convey the message. For more on how content is important to a great web design, stay tuned for next week’s post.
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