Building a website is something that has become relatively easy to do in today’s age thanks to a wide assortment of different tools and control panels. The average person starting up a web business can construct a fully functioning site in a matter of hours without any specialized education in computer or graphic design. However, building a website and building an attractive, appealing website are two different things entirely.
One area of website building that may be lacking the necessary attention is typography. To put it as simply as possible, typography is the style and the size of font you’re using on your website. Most average text, like what you’re reading now, is usually formatted with a few basic typography styles, like 11pt Arial, 12pt Times New Roman, etc.
While no one would suggest that you ever cling so tightly to the status quo of site-building, you do have to remain in the relative wheelhouse unless you’re looking to scare people away. Huge 72pt font with various illegible styles and alternating bold colors just throws people off. It becomes unappealing and obnoxious. Below, I touch on a few reasons why typography matters so much and how and why it affects your overall website design.
As touched on some above, typography has the potential to drive people away if it’s hard on the eyes. Fonts should be clearly defined and easy to read. This includes the style of font you’re using, but it’s more particular to the size and the color.
If you have bold, yellow font over a green background, you’re not creating stylistic beauty; you’re creating a headache for anyone who chooses to visit your site. Basic black (or a darker) font on a white (or light) background is a great way to go. That contrast promotes readability. Now, of course, from that standard, there is a lot of wiggle room to play with size and style and to stand out as an original. So don’t think you’re locked in.
Continuing with the style theme, your site’s typography is going to say a lot about your professionalism, especially when we’re dealing with a business website. Have you ever laid your eyes on one of those exceedingly long, poorly written sales pages for junk information products? They use a dozen exclamation points after every sentence.
One sentence is “normal,” while the next is in bold italics about five times the size of the previous. It just becomes a hodgepodge of different typography styles, all of which were meant to grab a reader’s attention, but it just ends up looking cheap and generic and it drives people away. You don’t need to go that route for style. Elegance and understated simplicity is also style.
Now, this is where you should really test the waters out constantly until you land on something unique without being so different that people just turn away. You want the typography of your website to be original without being obnoxious. This takes a careful blend of font styles that play more to the theme of your site.
Think: Straight-edged professional font for something serious, something a bit more exciting for a fun product or service. We obviously can’t give tips for “originality”; that would be a contradiction. The trick here is to play around and to find the right combination using the right font styles.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with font styles and sizes is that typography definitely does matter to the overall design and performance of your website. It’s an area in desperate need of your full attention.