Ok, so, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of website design? Logos, Banners and the rest? Though they might be important, they pale in insignificance when compared to website typography. Indeed, good web designers recognise this and never compromise on website typography. While your website may have flashy logos and exquisite layouts, if your website typography isn’t up to the mark, your website as a whole will suffer. So, what exactly is website typography?
Website typography is basically the characteristics of fonts such as font type, size, colour etc which you use on your website. As easy as it may sound, website typography isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and is an art in itself. The reason why its importance continues to be under-rated is because not many realise that how you present your text is more important than how your website’s header or sidebars look. The text you put on your website is the first thing that visitors will notice. While they might appreciate the graphic properties of your website, they still put a large weightage on readability. And, website typography is what you use to improve readability, not some graphic UI. Now that you understand the importance of website typography, how exactly do you go about it? No worries, I’ve got everything panned out for you.
1) Textual properties
This is the most important aspect of website typography. It deals with how you present your text. Usually, people just go with the default text and size. While that may be alright for a blog or personal website, if you run a business, you want your site to look different. So, do play around with the various font types, sizes and colours until you find one that you like.
2) Spacing and aesthetics
Often, web designers face a dilemma when they are confronted with large data which needs to be fitted in a single web-page. Do they compromise on space,thereby losing revenue, or compress data to fit into whatever space is left? Well, if you chose the latter, you, as a web-designer have failed. Remember, the user is the first priority when it comes to website design, not even revenue. Your site wouldn’t die if you cut out advertisements and left more space for textual requirements. Try to adopt a flexible policy. Users don’t like to be suffocated with advertisements and banners all over the page. But, they don’t like the look of a page with nothing but long lines of text, either. So, try to fit in advertisements/promotions where the textual content is low,just to expand page size. Similarly, cut down on advertisements where you need space for text.
With this one simple rule for spacing, your website will sport an all new look in no time.
Remember when we said play around with font styles and pick the one you like? Well, there are a few constraints as well, which you’ll need to follow:
* Pay close attention to the font styles you use. Avoid colours which clash with your website background and also colours which are revolting to the eye (I’m thinking yellow, pink, orange here). If you are unsure, always stick with black.
* The font type. A lot of web designers get so carried away with the numerous choices available that they end up with a font that is barely readable. Always pay more importance to the readability of the font rather than its aesthetic appeal. Go for clean fonts with shaped edges. Cursive fonts are a big no. They look great as headers but not so great for entire passages of text.
* Avoid using bold and italics. If you really have to, use bold for points you’d like to highlight. This creates a good differentiator and if the user is hard pressed for time he/she may just read the text in bold. But, as a general practice, avoid using bold text. And, if you really want that rightward swerve of italics, try to incorporate it through fonts.
* Design your site in such a way that the text is in contrast to surrounding graphical designs. Thereby, there is no abundance of colours in your site and your text stands out, which is important.