Reverting to Type
Posted 01 October 2012
There are many important pieces that make up the website design jigsaw. Some of these are perhaps more obvious than others. You’ll want a great homepage, a classy selection of photographs and graphics, and ultimately a website that communicates exactly what your company is about. A crucial component that is often overlooked is the use of typography.
What exactly is typography? In simple terms it is the use of type in a visual, graphic way. In a web design context typography is concerned with the use and design of typefaces (families of fonts) which can be used to communicate text in a beautiful way. Before the digital age this was a very specialised area (calligraphy is a great example of typography) but now it is a hugely accessible aspect of brand development. When we think about the world’s most famous brands, whether they sell family cars or soft drinks, we often visualise a logo which will in all likelihood be a superb example of typography. It will be both beautiful and memorable.
As web designers we love this kind of attention to detail. The kind of typeface that a company uses on their website, branding and publications will communicate much more than mere words. A good example of this would be a university’s website, which will need to appeal to adults of all ages from across the globe, demonstrate its strengths and academic credibility, and also be realistic in representing the local area and culture. The use of typography will be very important in achieving this. A strong, eye-catching heading text can be used to draw the reader’s attention, and a classy, easy-to-read body text will complement this beautifully. Many typefaces (families of fonts) will include heading and body text, although we’ve often found that choosing one font for your headlines and one for your body text can also be very effective.
You don’t need to be a website designer to improve your use of typography. One of the simplest ways to improve your branding is developing consistency in your use of fonts. Find a great font for your headings and another for your body text, and stick with them as much as possible. Make sure that your website, blog, staff emails and business publications use the same fonts. This kind of attention to detail is a foundational part of brand development.
It’s great to hear that Adobe have recently released new fonts for coders. These simple ‘monospaced’ fonts are what website designers use when they’re writing the code behind beautiful websites. We think it’s important that web designers maintain their creativity and inspiration, even whilst writing complex code. Having access to great typeface families can only be a good thing!
If you’re interested in finding out more about how typography can develop your website then we would love to hear from you. We’ve got a great team waiting to work on your project, whether it’s brand development or building a beautiful new bespoke website.