Photographs? Forget About It. Typography is the Essence of Web Design.

Thank goodness for the memo! For the past…Umm…I’m not sure how long, really…I’ve been stressing over finding the right combination of photographical and typographical elements that would make my product’s website unique and sexy. But, no longer do I need to dwell over my inability to find a stimulating image for the design of the site. Pictures aren’t what sexy is all about.

Think about it. How many sites have you come across that have been bombarded with pictures to explain the site’s call-to-action? According to Paul Scrivens from Smashing Magazine (and the numerous web designers that you’ll bump into), “text is the interface.” Makes sense, right?

The goal of your website is to present your product to them as concisely as possible. The best way to do that? TEXT, of course. Bear in mind that your site cannot just list your call-to-action in plain font that looks dull to your users or even go overboard with a muddle of selected fonts. Your site content must be artfully mastered and arranged so as to make the language you are presenting visually stimulating – hence, TYPOGRAPHY.

You’d think that mastering the art of visual language on a web interface would be simple. I certainly thought so…but, MAN was I wrong. How was I supposed to understand what type of font would be good for my site, let alone master it in such a short period of time?

Consider these tips from Noodlor via Co.Design when applying typography to your website.

Who knew that there would be a psychology behind font? Low and behold – it does. FASCINATING.

Moving along…

In addition to these fine tips, do keep in mind two more key elements

1. While I do slightly bash pictures here in this post – do not exclude this element in full. Sometimes one strong and strategically placed image may be more valuable than typography as well as the difference between your one-time visitor and returning user.

2. Make sure your typography is legible. Idan Gazit, designer/developer and cofounder of Skills, says that the three primary factors of legibility are: Size, Measure, and Leading.

  • Size: Use a combination of sizes for your visual language to create a dynamic typographical experience. The typographic scale serves as a guide for the options you may user for successful execution of typography and a tool to be creative in your design.

  • Measure: Gazit suggest to stick to a measure of about 66 characters across one line of text to create a good user experience.

  • Leading: Make sure there is enough space between the lines of text so that your users may easily read through the text, refraining from creating strain on their eyes. Utilizing white space will create a simple and beautiful interface. According to Gazit, body text should have about 1.3 – 1.6 em of leading.

As Rudyard Kipling stated, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Use these tips wisely and you’ll have your users hooked.