Decoding Typography in Web Design
Typography, as we all know, is a very important part of a good Website Design. It plays a critical role in elevating the design quotient from ‘OK’ to ‘BRILLIANT’. Agreed, all users do not appreciate the role of typography but without any doubt, it is a critical part of a well designed website. With the minimal design gaining in popularity, typography becomes even more important in the design of a website as more focus is on the text.
What is Typography
So let’s see what makes typography such an important part of a Web design. But first, we have to know what typography actually means. According to Wikipedia, ‘Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed.’ It means arranging of letters to make it more readable and pleasing to the eyes. In Web Design, the same principle applies – the text is arranged and presented in such a way that it complements the design and elevates the design quotient of the site making it all the more awesome. Did you ever come across a situation where inspite of having a very basic and simple design, a Website looks very beautiful and you are not sure what exactly is happening to make it look so gorgeous. Well, that is typography at work.
Every Font has a character
Now, how does typography affect Web Design. As we all know, every font has its personality. Bold fonts symbolise masculinity, script fonts are considered feminine, serif fonts are considered reliable and many other expressions( Check out this awesome Inforgraphic by Ted Hunt ), the personalities of these fonts extend into the respective Web Designs they are implemented in.
If you require a professional looking website for your business, the most common typeface is sans-serif as it symbolises professionalism. If the primary consumer base of a website are females, the website will contain the script fonts. This phenomenon is referred to as Font Psychology – a predetermined characteristic personality of every font is associated with it, has been used to target specific audience and marketing of various products and services.
Making the user READ
What is the ultimate objective of text on the website, to make the user read your content. If the user does not read what you have created, there’s no point to it all! Typography plays an important role to achieve this objective. Your text needs to be readable and beautiful. But how to make it readable? Well, this topic has been covered in great detail by some of the best in the field. What I would like to focus on is how can a person without any advanced knowledge of typography know how to make your text more readable and awesome. There are some basic guidelines one has to follow while adding text to their Websites
Using the right font
As I said earlier, the correct font at the correct place can do wonders for your site. If you plan on creating a site focusing on long articles, a serif font would be the best suitable as a human brain can read the serif typeface most easily. If the primary focus of the site is to showcase a product or promote your business, sans-serif should be your choice as it represents professionalism.
For titles and other headlines, it’s a personal choice really but keep in mind that the font used is visibly different from the one used in text. The Contrast created increases the readability of the whole thing.
Spacing is Important
Spacing is also a very important factor to be kept in mind for your text. You don’t want your text cluttered and hard to read. Line-Heights and Letter-Spacings should be optimum so as to best render the text. In an ideal Web Design, 60/40 is the ideal ratio between content and white space. So, keep that in mind next time you create a website.
Colors play a huge role in increasing the readability of text on a website. Many people tend to play it safe by keeping their site white and simple. It is a safe bet and will always look great. But in case you are feeling a little adventurous, you can make your site colorful. Again, this is a whole topic in itself but our primary focus is the effect of color on typography.
The main thing to keep in mind while using colors for text and background is the the contrast. The text should be contrasting enough to be easily readable and should not put too much strain on the eyesight. http://www.kccreepfest.com/ is an example of unconventional color scheme.
Where do I get my fonts
Suppose you want to create a website, then choosing the right font for your project is absolutely essential. You wouldn’t want your website to be anything less than spectacular. Most of the time, users go for the safe bets such as Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma and other tried and tested font families. Although they are perfect in their own right, they might not always be the right choice. Moreover, some of them are not even free to use.
Nowadays, users are on the lookout for cost effective and beautiful solutions to their font requirements. Google, like always, has provided the answer with Google Fonts. Some of the best fonts are available for absolutely no cost. You can sift through the library for your perfect font. I am personally an ardent fan of Montserrat, Lato and Source Sans Pro. There other sources as well which provide fonts at absolutely no cost.
Typography is indeed an important ingredient of an amazing website. A good typeface goes a long way in enhancing the credibility and panache of your Website. So, next time while creating a website, don’t ignore the typography of the design and uplift the design quotient of your site by using the correct typefaces.