Understanding the Importance of Typography in Good Web Design

typography

What is typography? Before the internet age, it was known as the art of logically arranging and designing the text of any printed matter to make it logical and easy to read while also having a pleasing and attractive look. Good typography was considered essential when it came to the publishing of books, manuscripts, newspapers, and other types of print media.

Nowadays, this form of art is still held to a high standard. But with digital media and the internet becoming more popular over print media, some of typography’s finer points are being forgotten in place of flashy animations, high-resolution images, and stylised backgrounds. This is especially evident in website development, where many website designers often rely on attractive graphics, auto-playing videos, and other distracting features to attract visitors and compel them to stay on the page.

Unfortunately, this particular trend can have a detrimental effect on a website’s ability to keep their visitors around, especially when such features have become commonplace. As such, it is up to web developers to once more employ good typography practices to ensure that their websites remain effective in attracting visitors.

But would good typography still be able to help, even if websites are drastically different to newspapers and books in terms of design and consumption? The answer to this is yes. To further elaborate on this, the following is a list of reasons why typography is important in good web design, and why it’s also important for a company to look for good typographical skills when employing a graphic design and print services provider.

Good typography immediately communicates the website’s purpose to the visitor

One of the hallmarks of great website design is that a visitor should be able to tell almost immediately what its purpose is at a glance. Good typography can help with this by ensuring that the right typeface is used, as well as how the text content is logically arranged throughout the website. 

For example, by using basic typography principles, a web designer can quickly convey to a visitor that they are looking at a news website by having their article titles displayed with bolder and larger typefaces than the rest of its content. These article headlines would then draw the visitor’s eye to the smaller blurb paragraphs below them, prompting them to read further.

The same goes for an online shopping website’s front page. In contrast to a news website, an online shopping portal’s front page with good typography should have a minimum amount of text, while also featuring a large quantity of attractive and colourful product images. The text is minimised to prevent distracting the visitor with unnecessary information, which then increases the chances of them making a purchase.

Good typography can help evoke the right mindset and emotion in the visitor

Another reason why typography is important in web design is that it can help evoke specific emotions and mindsets within the visitor. Just like the previous news website example, the larger size of the headlines among the other text immediately grabs the viewer’s attention and establishes a sense of urgency, as well as a desire to know more. As such, they stay on the website for longer as they satisfy their curiosity through reading the articles in full. 

Meanwhile, the small amount of text with the shopping website example, when combined with the attractive product shots, puts and keeps the visitor in a shopping mood and raises the chances of a purchase. The minute amount of reading they have to do also ensures that they can find and spot the specific product or product line they’re looking for.

Good typography can make a website look more attractive and pleasant to look at

Just as the proper typeface and a logical arrangement of text can make newsprint look professional, trustworthy, and respectable, so too can a website enjoy the same effect with competent and considerate typography. This effect can then aid significantly in the website's main purpose, such as an online shopping site's visitors feeling like they can trust it well enough to buy their goods from it or to perceive the reporting in a news website as credible and accurate.

Good typography can help make large volumes of content easier to read

Reading large volumes of text, especially from a computer monitor or smartphone screen, can easily cause eye strain and eye fatigue. This can make it difficult for a website, especially one that conveys information through large blocks of text, to retain visitors. However, a text-heavy website can avoid tiring out its visitors and encourage long periods of enjoyable binge-reading by implementing design decisions based on good typography such as a larger font, a bold and clear typeface, and ample empty spaces between paragraphs for the eyes to rest. Doing so also helps with more efficient content and information delivery.

Typography: a website content element that should never be neglected

It’s easy to overlook typography when it comes to building and designing a website. However, to do so is to risk making your website look confusing or difficult to engage with, which can drive off its potential visitors and users. Recognise how good typography can shape the perception of your website and take to heart its importance in web design for the reasons listed above, and you’ll see why this fine art is still essential even today.

Posted in Graphic Design