Web design is a varied discipline that draws upon a diverse skill set in order to achieve the perfect balance between the aesthetically pleasing and the practical.
As a result, it should be no surprise that the best web design companies take typography very seriously, even if this is an ancient practice that sounds like it would only have been relevant in bygone eras.
So what is it about typography that makes it so important to good web design and is there any pitfalls to avoid if you are building your own website?
Whenever a visitor arrives on your website, whether they have clicked through from a search engine, engaged with a post on social media, or simply entered the address manually, the chances are incredibly high that they will be there to consume some written content.
For this reason alone, the way you present this content is vital and can mean the difference between convincing a casual user to stick around or putting them off in the first few seconds and never seeing them again.
Typography is the art of ensuring that the words on your site are both easy to read and easy on the eye. A font that is poorly chosen, ugly, or simply bland, will contribute to a high bounce rate. A font that compliments your branding, is consistent across the site, and draws the user’s attention will bring a world of benefits along with it, boosting traffic, improving SEO, and catalyzing conversions.
Typography in a web design context is about more than just looking good and presenting a united front from a branding perspective; it must also be focused on usability and legibility. In this sense, the size of the lettering is just as vital as its styling.
There is a reason that the template of having a large, bold headline followed up by a slightly smaller subheading and finally the body of the text, also broken up with headings, is such a widely used formula for typographic success on the web. It makes long sections of content simpler to digest, guides the eye down the page to keep people reading, and also ensures that visitors can indeed see what they are looking for without having to squint.
This is where responsive web design is also significant since now that most visitors can be expected to be using smartphones, your typography needs to be able to adapt to suit lots of different devices, providing legible content no matter how large the screen of the handset.
While we have focused on the role that typography plays in making your website effective at capturing visitors’ attention and conveying relevant information concisely, it should also be noted that the fonts you choose and the ways you use them can say a lot about your business.
For example, there are industry-specific expectations as to the kinds of typography that can be expected from an organization’s website. Firms involved in more straight-laced professions such as finance and law tend to opt for more conservative combinations of fonts and use subtle color palettes. Meanwhile, those in the media or other creative industries can afford to be bolder and more
Furthermore, once you have established a typographic personality for your website, you can also use this elsewhere, such as in the creation of promotional materials, the development of social media marketing campaigns, and much more besides. Thinking carefully about your website’s typography could ultimately give you a better idea of what your business is like and what it aims to achieve, which is the most valuable prize of all.