With constant advancements in web design, the design arena has started to evolve more in terms of visual communication, image production and depiction of expressions. In all this, typography has marked its significance and is gaining immense popularity among designers. The art itself is alluring to draw everyone’s attention and that’s the reason why visitors are naturally attracted to sites with good typography.
Entertainment or multimedia based sites look interesting but typography adds to richness – a certain sense of euphoria and great satisfaction. Since typography offers easy readability, such sites help readers to get their desired information quickly. It induces them to return frequently, get interested in your products or services and share their experiences with their friends and make comments. In fact, we have already said how good typography improves the usability of websites. In this post, I will explore some of the important visual elements of typography and how it can be made best to attract web viewers.
Web typography is a significant design element. Knowledge and expertise in typography will therefore help web designers create user-friendly website designs. In all websites, typography is the foundation of web design. It is the art of setting text in an aesthetically pleasing and readable format that enhances visibility of the design.
The most popular web browsers support web fonts natively. In addition, the latest versions of CSS and HTML have implemented more typographic features. This facilitates designers to create great readability using innovative tools and techniques of web typography. In this article, I have provided vital information about the most effective web typography, how to improve it and some useful tools to do it.
1. Font, a fundamental factor
When you compose any text, the selection of font style is a fundamental factor. It reflects the content’s tone and the best readable font becomes a wise choice for body text. With thousands of freely available fonts on the Internet, it’s become somewhat difficult to choose a perfect font that suits the subject and theme of the website. Normally, fancy fonts are used in the title, heading or sub-heading while in the normal body text simple fonts such as Arial, Times Roman, Verdana, Helvetica, etc. are preferred.
2. Set the perfect font size
Text size is another important aspect that needs to be considered. If the text size is too big or too small it hurts both the eyes and mind of the readers. Therefore, it’s best to select main body text size between 12 and 16 pixels with some variations in menus and headings/sub-headings. Moreover, designers should not ignore smartphone users as they are fast increasing in numbers. Visitors use smartphones as a handy device for online shopping, to get information, GPS, entertainment and more. Therefore, it becomes essential that text size should be intelligible on different sizes of screen resolutions.
3. Enhance lucidity with leading space
In web pages, ideal measurement of leading space enhances text lucidity. It’s the distance between each text line and basic component that enhances text readability. It depends on font, style, and size as well as the space and length measurement of words. An ideal leading measurement should be two to five points higher than the font size. However, it may depend on a number of factors such as the the screen layout, type of font and the placement of texts and images.
4. A good practice with scale and hierarchy
It’s a good practice to maintain the uniform hierarchy of font, size and style throughout the website to give readers a satisfactory reading experience. It means uniformity in heading, body text, bullet text, title, heading and text heading. Keep same size, font, leading on all pages. It is also important to use a typographic scale that is helpful to define different portions of text.
5. An ideal measure
An ideal measurement for length of text line should be 65 characters. Too short or too long length of line disturbs the readers’ mental equilibrium and understanding the content becomes difficult.
6. Emphasize to grab attention
To grab attention of website visitors, it becomes essential to emphasize important words or lines. Make the word bold or italic but refrain from underlining it as users might mistake it for a link. Similarly, do use colors for text but refrain from using blue as this is associated with an active link. Enlarging size of text is a good way to focus on it. It is essential to follow the same pattern throughout the website while emphasizing words or text or paragraph.
7. Enhance legibility with alignment and grid
Perfect alignment of the text is another important aspect to enhance readability. In website design, an ideal grid measurement makes a perfect base to design a layout that gives an ideal visual balance. The web page should be divided into rows, columns, headers, menus, footers and sidebars that help readers to glimpse a page smoothly and find desirable content and navigation tools easily.
8. Striking yet elegant color
Selection of foreground and background colors and entire color scheme for web content is a very significant aspect of web design. Keep this in mind while selecting the background color. It’s necessary to consider text color first. Dark/light background/foreground color can give more impact. Remember to check the readability of text color in different browsers if you apply some light color. Do not use the same color pattern; have some variation in color for background and text color as it is considered spam by many search engines.
The most effective tools to improve typography
Luckily for us, there exists a wide array of tools that help improve web typography. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Adobe Typekit – Typekit is an excellent font library that provides a large selection of fonts, ranging from classic to the more web-oriented ones.
- Google Fonts – With over 600 font families, it is a simple solution to employ licensed and non-standard fonts for your website. It is available with several features and is easy to integrate the code in your page.
- Typecast – More than 2,300 web fonts to pick from and make ready-to use text with HTML and CSS.
- Type Chart – Allows you to flip, compare and preview web typography while retrieving the CSS.
- Typetester – Preview multiple fonts at a time and find the best of your choice with different style and size including bold, italics, small, caps, and many more.
- Font Picker – This tool shows all the installed fonts on your PC and helps you to select the most appropriate for your text.
- CSS Typeset – It is a useful tool that helps you to preview CSS text as you make modifications in your text, and creates the codes instantly.
- HTML Ipsum – It proffers the standard Latin text ready to use in HTML code. Just click on any block and it copies the text in your clipboard automatically.
- PXtoEM – Useful tool to convert pixel to em unit.
- CSSTYPE – Allows you to preview text while modifying it. In addition is the option to set the color, size, word, line & letter spacing, line heights and more and generate CSS code easily.
- Text 2 PNG Conversion – If you still prefer to use images to replace text (not a recommended technique), this tool will help you generate a PNG image instantly.
- sIFR Generator – An effective tool that generates a Flash file from your typeface. Upload text and you will get the Flash file in your e-mail.
Expertise in web typography requires creativity that comes with experience. The most important aspect when thinking about typography is maintaining legibility of content. The ideal web typography proffers the significant idea of the content it presents while generating sentiment in the mind of readers in the process. Explore your creativity with best practices in web typography to build an unrivalled website design.
(Lead image source: Taryn)