Using Typography to Enhance Your Website - What is Typography?

When Google rolled out their new logo this week, it got me to thinking about how important the role of typography plays in creating the right mood for your company branding and website. Color and Layout are the big shots of the design world - they are the quarterback that everyone wants to talk about - but Typography quietly determines the mood, look and feel of your marketing and gets little credit for it. So let's look at how you can use typography to enhance your website. 

Important first impressions are made when a site visitor initially checks out your website. In fact, according to a recent Standford web study, 75% of users admit to making a judgment about a company's credibility based on their website design. Using clean and professional website design is vital, of course, in order for consumers to navigate easily on your site and be driven to contact you. However, typography plays an essential role that shouldn't be ignored.

What is Typography?

Typography is the style and appearance of text and other characters in printing or used digitally. Since "content is king," it's vital that it be displayed in a way that welcomes visitors to read it and gives them the intended impression you want them to have about your company. Different typography can give an impression of a company that is contemporary, traditional, elegant, whimsical, urban, formal or more.

Basic Typography Terms:

  • Typeface - Also called Font Family - This is the complete design of a set of characters including elements like size, weight, style, and more. For example, Arial is a typeface, but it comes in many different fonts like Arial Bold, Arial Italics, Arial Condensed, Arial Black, etc.
  • Font - A specific combination of typeface with other qualities like size, spacing, pitch and weight.
  • Cap Height and Baseline- This is the baseline bottom of the letters and the cap height is the cut off point at the top of the font. 
  • Serifs - The little "feet" on fonts as seen in Garamond and Times. Usually serif fonts have a more traditional look, but there are many modern options as well. Fonts without the little feet are called Sans Serif.

The basic elements used in typography are type, texture, color and image.  It is important to choose the best font that will appeal to your ideal website visitor. For example, Open Sans or Raleway are common fonts for a sleek design (this site uses Raleway). The color combination should be somewhat matching and mesh well together throughout the entire site too. We recommend editing the contrast of your text as well as the boldness and brightness so text is visible, but merciful on the eyes.

The different font combinations that you can choose from will help create the style of the website, whether it is modern, traditional, urban or sophisticated. For example, Google fonts like Playfair Display and Fauna One can be combined to create a contemporary, but professional look and feel. Using a mixing typefaces chart will allow you to compare fonts and how they look together. Some fonts cannot be placed side by side because they do not compliment each other visually. An example of this is using Arial with Times New Roman. These fonts do not go well together as they are too similar and do not mesh well.

What matters most when using typography is that it is easy to read, communicates the correct feeling about your company and will appeal visually to all eyes. Using typography correctly will enhance your website, increase readership and express your message in a more direct manner.

For a free website evaluation or to discuss your next project, please contact us at Alternative Advertising in Hartford, Wisconsin. We have clients throughout the country using our website design, logo design, branding, promotional, direct mail, customer retention and business development services.