Typography in Web Design and How it Can Really Enhance Your Website
Typography is one of the most important components of every good web design. Your web design company must know about the best typography tools, frameworks and font libraries to utilize when designing your website.
For clients, the terms “typography” and “font” are often viewed as one and the same. Actually, these two terms are often used by people interchangeably. However, for the graphic designer the term “typography” is more expanded than just the choice of fonts to use in a design concept. Typography a more of science within the umbrella of graphic design and therefore plays a crucial role in web design as well. In recent years, web designers have begun to recognize the significance of typography and the latest surveys have highlighted its importance. Also the web design trends have confirmed its expanding role in current web design.
Robert Bringhurst, a Canadian typographer, describes typography in his book as “the craft of human language with a durable visual form”. Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City and director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, puts it in a similar way, but in simpler words: “Typography is what language looks like."
In simple words, typography is the technique and art of arranging type. Included are all the possible elements which can affect the web design, like typeface or font choice, color palette, size of the letters, line length, design integration and layout. Simply stated, typography is the process and art of arranging type.
What is the purpose of typography?
Now that we know that typography is closely bonded with web design, we need to explain that many people believe that its purpose is to make the site visually pleasing. One reason for that is that people generally associate the term “design” to making certain things look beautiful. Graphic design and interior design are two examples of why people assume this.
Beauty is not the reason for typography. The main purpose of typography is actually about readability. This does not mean that it should not be attractive at the same time, but that part is just added value. The main goal of the typographer is to make sure that the type is readable and the meaning of the content is not confusing.
So, why is typography so important?
Even design professionals can forget at times that content is what brings visitors to a website and again, content is what keeps visitors on a website. So the obvious conclusion is that content has to be easy on the eyes.
A quick, interesting survey showcases an example of Fonts vs Typography “In Fonts You Trust” Surveys Typefaces for Declaration of Independence
Why Fonts Matter author Sarah Hyndman has published a survey on which typefaces best reflect values from the Declaration of Independence. Sarah, founder of type design, research and events studio Type Tasting, presented words like “Democracy,” “Freedom,” and “Liberty” in various fonts and asked survey participants to pair them with a typeface they believed best matched the word.
Sarah then analyzed the responses using the results of her Font Census surveys. “We trust what we read when the font and words are in harmony,” she explains. “When they don’t match we can find that what we read feels less authentic.
“It has been proven that you will recognize a word faster, it has higher processing fluency, when the meaning of the word is mirrored by the typeface it appears in."
According to the survey, when asked what “Democracy” looked like, 62% of the 114 people surveyed selected a formal, traditional serif typeface, with Georgia coming out as the top choice. A script-style typeface was however deemed a “poor reflection of Democracy.” Conversely for the word “Freedom” 45% chose Lucida Calligraphy, a curving, handwritten-style typeface.
“This is a celebration of the shared language of type, whatever our beliefs, wherever we live, that gives us the freedom to communicate with the whole world,” Sarah concluded.
Words by Jenny Brewer, Monday 04 July 2016 In Fonts You Trust: all the surveyed words.