Typography is a concept which never got it’s due. The power of Typography with respect to the website is totally untapped and unexplored. Typography and the font-faces we choose have a huge impact on multiple aspects of our website. These typography lessons will surely help you while designing your website.
The readability, mood, user experience of a website are all dependent on the fonts we use. It is very much essential that designers know and understand the different principles of typography that create a visually appealing and yet easily understandable design, in order to properly portray the vision and mood of the website they are designing.
Even for a laymen, the terms “typography” and “font” are not very different, for a graphic designer or a website designer, it a science altogether. In the last few years, web designers have started to realize the importance of typography and the latest trends have also shown the vitality of the typography while designing a modern website design.
It is a myth that typography is all about choosing the font that looks the prettiest; it is way more than that.
Enough said! So, what is it exactly?
As rightly quoted by James Felici, “The beauty of Type lies in its utility, prettiness without readability servers neither author nor the reader.”
In simple words, typography is the technique and art of arranging type. That includes each possible element which can affect the web design, like typeface choice, color palette, point size, line length, design integration and layout among others.
This leads us to the next question:
All said and done.. What is the purpose?
The fact that typography and web design go hand in hand, many people have a misconception that the only purpose of typography is making the website good looking. People often tend to refer the term ‘design’ to making things look beautiful, for example interior design. The same happens with typography. In the quest of making the site look beautiful most of the designers overuse the fonts and typography.
The main purpose of typography has nothing to do with how it looks. It is actually readability that typography aims at. This does not mean that it should not look pretty at the same time, but this is just an added bonus. The main goal that stands before the typographer is to make sure that the type is readable.
So, why is typography so important, then?
Content is the King of any and every website! The better you present it the better your websites works for you. An average of 95% of every website is occupied by content. And typography is the art of displaying content. So that makes it pretty important, don’t you think?
But putting the math aside, the sad fact is that there is still a common notion among many web designers that typography is all about pretty fonts and web design is all about fancy graphics. This oversimplification can really play a nasty trick on you. Even design professionals seem to forget sometimes that content is what brings visitors to a website and again, content is what keeps them on a website, and that content has to be easy to perceive.
Let us glance through how typography is important for your website and why it should not be taken lightly.
Visually summarize your website through Typography
“Display type is a visual voice, without reading it imparts its message.”
When taking a look at a website, you can often say even from the first glance whether it is a fun or a serious, business-like vibe that it is sending out. A large part of this message is achieved through typography.
The layout and look of the website are complemented by the choice of colors and fonts and the way the content is arranged on the page to evoke certain feelings and emotions into the visitors. Just a quick glance of the page is enough to either grab your audience’s attention or drive them away for good.
It empowers your brand!
“Type Design is about function! Drawing pretty shapes isn’t enough.”
You don’t believe that typography plays a part in branding? Then you should try this simple experiment out: Take a well-known brand and change its typeface and font. Then look at it again. Doesn’t that change your whole perception of that brand? Doesn’t it look out of balance?
A brand is largely defined by its logo. It is what establishes the brand’s identity among the users. There is no second opinion about that. However, if you have a great logo and don’t complement it with adequate web typography, you won’t go a long way as a brand. If, on the other hand, your font, logo and typeface go hand in hand harmoniously, then you have a winner!
Typography is what makes your readers read your content!
“Only when the design fails, does it call attention to itself; when it succeeds, it’s invisible!”
-John D. Berry
Even is content is the main ingredient, only good content is not enough for building a great website. It should be well presented, too. The solution to that task is typography. Every element can have its impact on the way your content is perceived – starting from the size and font of the text all the way to its alignment and arrangement on your pages and the colors you’ll select. Good typography will emphasize on the most important parts of your content and draw the readers’ attention to them, and it will also define the whole structure and flow of your website.
This is especially evident in the cases when you are reading articles on the internet. If you have a 1500-word post before you, which consists entirely of plain text, you will really have a hard time reading through the whole post, even if the topic is very interesting. On the other hand, even small tweaks and formatting like changing the font size, color or typeface of certain parts of the content can make the article a lot more easily readable and hold your attention right to the end of it.
It can help you lure your reader with content.
“Good Typography is an Art”
Don’t get this the wrong way; this doesn’t mean that typography can turn bad content into good one. Content with no intrinsic value won’t be able to engage the viewers even if it is clad in the best typography. It may make the visitors take a look at it, but they will quickly reveal the deception and move away from your website.
However, even the most well written and clever content will look ridiculous if you just paste it on your page in 11 point neon green Times New Roman or, God forbid, Comic Sans. In that line of thought, if you have a fairly decent copy, you can enhance its appeal through the use of adequate typography and make the readers feel compelled to read it.
Just do it right and see typography maintain the website’s consistency!
“It’s never too late to talk to your child about Typography”
The internet users are inclined to look for familiarity and order when they visit a website. Thus, your site should have a consistent design that won’t prompt your visitors to wander about looking for the navigation button they need or the contact information, which is hidden somewhere in the small print. Inconsistency and chaos make for a frustrating user experience and the visitors will most likely not come back to your site if they are faced with that kind of experience even once.
Good typography can help you out in this aspect as well. It straightens the site up and tidies things up so that all of its elements will be clearly visible and easy to find for the users. When uniformity is maintained throughout all the visual elements of a web page, such as typeface, font, color, size, etc., the user experience becomes much more pleasant, thus boosting the conversion rates too.
You can’t deny the fact that typography is capable of shaping the perception of your website’s visitors and engaging them with your web pages. It can also affect your conversion rates and play a major role for the effective content delivery to your users. You should abandon the obsession with “pretty” content and aesthetics and instead focus on the clever use of typography, as it is a powerful tool which can do wonders for your website. Go by the words of the famous type designer Matthew Carter, “…type is a beautiful group of letters, not a group of beautiful letters.”