It’s amazing how much detail goes into a website. Think of the functional components, programming technology, tags, site navigation and the personas. Phew! And that’s before we even touch the content.
Design is the glue that holds everything together. And with so much to think about when you’re a web developer, I’m now going to add another to the list: typography.
When I studied (as a print designer), typography was a huge part of my course. In the Internet Age, it seems to have taken a back seat to structure and image manipulation, even though it’s such an integral part of keeping web layout together. If you take a quick browse through some of your most visited sites, I’ll bet you’ll see a noticable lack of well-weighted typography.
With the aim of keeping typography on the check-list for managers as well as designers, here’s a quick list of points to keep you honest:
1. Typography is about space. Like photography is about manipulating light, typography is about manipulating space. If the space (between lines, between letters) feels right, you’ve done a good job.
2. Sans serif CAN go with serif. The old adage of ‘don’t mix sans and serifs’ is NOT true. You’ve got to do what’s right for the project.
3. Type is meant to be be legible. If a designer says something like ‘it’s not supposed to be read’ or ‘I want the visitor to work for the message’ it means that someone’s chain is being jerked.