Typography is often one of the most overlooked aspects of web design. This is a huge mistake, as typography can set the tone for an entire website and brand. Poor typography can make a website look unprofessional and cluttered, while good typography can make it look clean and polished.
Typography might not seem like it’s complicated, but there’s a lot of thought that goes into font pairing and what will be both visually appealing as well as easy for the user to read. There’s a reason why people often use web design services, as sometimes it’s easier and also a better decision to leave the visual design to someone who understands the technical aspects of what will engage a user and keep them interested in your website.
In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of typography in web design and provide tips on how to use typefaces effectively.
There are four main types of typefaces: serif, sans serif, script, and display.
- Serif – The oldest typeface category is characterized by small lines (or “serifs”) on the ends of the letters. Some popular examples of serif typefaces include Times New Roman, Georgia, and Garamond.
- Sans-Serif – The opposite of serif typefaces and does not have any lines on the ends of the letters. They are typically seen as more modern than serif typefaces. Some popular examples of sans serif typefaces include Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana.
- Script – Based on the fluid, natural motions of handwriting. They are often used for invitations and other formal documents. Some popular examples of script typefaces include Brush Script, Edwardian Script, and Vivaldi.
- Display – The most ornate and attention-grabbing of all the typeface categories. They are often used for headlines and other short pieces of text. Some popular examples of display typefaces include Carnival, Gothic, and Neon.
Web Safe Fonts
When choosing a typeface for your website, selecting a “web-safe” font is essential. The font is available on most computers and devices and will render correctly on all browsers. Some popular web-safe fonts include Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia, and Verdana.
If you want to use a font that is not web-safe, you can “embed” the font into your website. The font will be downloaded along with the rest of your website’s files and rendered correctly on all browsers.
Google Fonts is a free online library of fonts you can use on your website. To use a Google Font, you must add a few lines of code to your website’s CSS file.
As we mentioned before, typography plays a crucial role in web design. One of the most important aspects of typography is visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy is the order in which your viewers will see and process the information on your website. Without this hierarchy, the person interacting with the website can get overwhelmed or confused by the presented material.
Level 1 (Headlines)
This is the most important content you will have on the page, and due to its importance, it should also be the most visible and eye-catching.
Level 2 (Sub Headings)
Although this level isn’t quite as noticeable as the headlines, it does help with the organization of information so that the eye can easily pick out where to go.
Level 3 (Body of Text)
This is the actual content of the website, the details, posts, and descriptions. While this doesn’t need to stand out, it’s essential that this level is easy to read and doesn’t strain the eyes.
When pairing typefaces, choosing typefaces with a similar “personality” is essential. For example, you wouldn’t want to pair a modern sans serif typeface with an old-fashioned script typeface. A good rule of thumb is pairing two serif typefaces together, or one serif typeface with one sans serif typeface.
Some tips for pairing typefaces:
- Stick to two or three different typefaces for your entire website. Any more than that will start to look cluttered.
- Avoid using more than one script typeface. Script typefaces are very ornate and can be challenging to read.
- There are a lot of fonts that are loved by web designers everywhere. Take note of fonts and pairings you see that you like and think are utilized well by other companies.
When In Doubt, Hire a Web Designer!
We hope you found this blog post helpful. Typography is an integral part of web design, and we hope this post has inspired you to pay more attention to the typefaces you use on your website.
If the design of your website is too daunting of a task, why not check out what a web design agency can do for your company? NetGain will work with you to represent your company through your website, so contact us today to learn more!