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Reverting to Type: Text and Website Design

The Hepworth Gallery Typography by Carl Milner

There are many different ways to produce beautiful, high-impact website design. In recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of text-based web design.

In the early days of the internet, of course, websites consisted almost entirely of text. As web designers began to flex their design muscles we quickly moved away from this approach, introducing photography, video, graphic design and even flash in order to produce more engaging and visually pleasing websites.

Now, though, typography is very much a central part of effective website design. The way that this is accomplished and the styles of typeface which are used have changed markedly since the early days of the internet.

Structure and Layout

You might not always notice it, but the way that websites are structured is a key part of web development. This impacts that way in which site visitors engage with content. It is also increasingly important as we think about accessibility and the best way to produce responsive website design which can be viewed on an ever-increasing range of desktop and mobile devices.

The structure and layout of a website design enable the typography to have a big impact. Ensuring that headers, body text and menus are well positioned helps the designer to draw the reader’s attention to the text used. It also helps us to frame the typography in a way which best showcases the design traits of that text.

Size and Weight

One of the big attractions of text-based website design is that it allows you to be very subtle in the way that you communicate. The size and weight of typography that you use will communicate the priorities that you give to different areas of the web page.

It will also draw the reader’s attention to particular parts of your website and help to control the order in which content is accessed. This is very helpful when we think about user experience and helping site visitors to find and digest information as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Text and Tone

The typography that you use will help to set the tone of your website. We are all familiar with the impact that web design has on our reaction to a website; typography allows this to be achieved in a low-key and understated way.

A classic, classy font will help to communicate that you are an established brand with a strong reputation. A fresh, playful font will help to demonstrate that you are a company that doesn’t take itself too seriously and shows customers that they can enjoy doing business with you. Typography gives you the ability to fine-tune the tone that your website gives to site visitors.

Combinations of Text

By using a carefully-selected variety of typefaces you can engage with the reader in different ways. It can be surprising how effectively different header and body texts can combine, particularly when you’re looking to use different kinds of font with different weighting or emphasis.

This also contributes to the visual impact of the website; the combination of typefaces can have a bigger impact than the sum of its parts.

If you’re interested in how typography can impact and improve your website design why not get in touch and find out how we can help…