Screen Typography

Screen Typography

Effective Web Design

Each one might seem trivial, but in reality, every little detail has an impact on your overall web design. Often, designers overlook the importance of font as they begin to build web pages. Webpage fonts are essential for creating an impact on the user’s impression of a website, leading designers to take extreme caution in choosing the right fonts. Designers deliberate on whether or not fonts are too formal or casual, too modern or conservative, etc., with the end goal being the creation of a website that has fonts that are readable and improve the effectiveness of the website as well. All of these details relating to webpage fonts get conveyed to online visitors when they visit a site.

Below are some basic tips to increase typographic readability and usability:

  • Use standard font types to ensure that the text will be easily readable on any equipment.
  • Avoid experimenting with fancy or rare fonts for a webpage. These fonts may not be transferable to many web users.
  • Web designers should use high-quality fonts. They print more clearly and cleanly, they have a crisp look, and they share relevant information by a variety of diverse printing devices.
  • If using multiple fonts, ensure that they are from the same family of fonts. For example, to emphasize a particular passage or piece of text, try changing to Arial Black from Arial Narrow.

Typographic Mood

Overall, to create an effective web design, the designer must consider the mood they are trying to convey. A casual, fun mood may use Comic Sans, for a playful site. Obviously, do not use a font that does not make reading easy. If, like most people, you want a more professional page but still want a different font than the typical popular ones, it is suggested to use Microsoft Sans Serif (versus Times New Roman) or Trebuchet MS, as they are both easy to read online, yet different from the font on most other websites.

It has been said that effective web design “demands” sans serif fonts; however, this idea proves contrary to Breyer, Orton and Russells’ findings.  The authors state, “For font type, there is a lack of statistically significant differences in font studies to rule in favor of serif or san serif fonts.”  According to Beyer’s study, using the overall speed metric, the serif font, Georgia, was read 7.9% faster than the san serif font, Helvetica… “Overall, there are no statistically significant reading or retention differences between the two font types.” Visually, however, “Beyer claims that the Georgia and Helvetica versions are quite similar, so this result is not too surprising.”