If you’re not a web designer, typography probably isn’t something that you think about that often, and you may not even understand why it is relevant. Designers must have a strong sense of how to use typography not only for readability but also with an understanding of the entire message it conveys.
If you’re having a custom website designed, or you’re thinking of doing WordPress web design, you’re going to want to pay attention to the type of text used. Here are a few ways that typography can really affect your website.
What is typography and why is it important?
Typography is a term that describes the type of font that one uses on their website, including various elements of lettering style like kerning and leading. But its purpose goes well beyond what we “see.” When considered in context of an overall design and branding strategy, the font that we use on our business websites can go a long way in conveying messages about our brand.
Font style and placement can not only influence the type of message that you send your readers, it also goes a long way in brand messaging. Consciously or not, there are a few things we need to consider when deciding on typography for our website, such as:
- What type of impression do you want to leave on your audience?
- What type of tone and feeling do you want to convey about your brand?
- How does the overall website design (including typography) support and convey your message, even subconsciously?
Believe it or not, having the right type of typography goes a long way towards conveying consistency not only on each page but across the entire site. Using too many different typefaces can be confusing for the reader, not only in terms of the actual content message but also with regards to how they perceive your entire brand and product. This is why, in general, it is recommended to use no more than 2-4 different styles of font.
You’re going to want to choose a font or set of fonts that gives your site a specific type of feel or based on your product and purpose. For instance, if you are selling something fun and quirky, you may want to use more colorful, playful fonts. The point to remember here is that your brand image and messaging are connected, so be sure to consult a professional designer as a part of your web design strategy.
Typography Guides the Reader
You’ll want to not only consider what typeface you’re using, but also where you place it, as this will convey a lot about your business. For instance, if you want to convey a quirky or edgy feel, you may want to consider an asymmetrical design.
But if you are doing something unconventional (beyond just the traditional alignment of left, right, or center), you will want to tread carefully as it can seriously impact overall structure and flow.
Even the best web designers make the mistake of having their font too small – you don’t need your readers to be squinting when this is a super simple problem to fix.
Smashing Magazine recommends that that fonts be about 16 pixels, depending on what you’re writing. You really just want to have your message easy to read and understand.
A Good Rule of Thumb
Whether you’re talking about typeface, color, alignment or any other design element that has to do with text, the general rule of thumb is that if you’re in doubt, keep it simple! Make you’re your readers can easily understand and digest the most important information, and leave anything tricky to professional designers.