Typography: What It Is & Why It's Important for Your Website - Iceberg Web Design

Typography: What It Is & Why It’s Important for Your Website

Potential customers that visit your website won’t waste their time on poor design. In fact, it only takes 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about whether they’ll stay on your website or go. Even if you get past those milliseconds, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive.

It’s up to you to wow them from the get-go using your website’s design. One of the best ways to communicate your message is through great typography.

The Absolute Basics of Typography

To put it simply, typography is the art of placing type on a page. This art includes arranging text to be both readable and attractive while enhancing the entire style of a design.

To make typography easier to grasp, here are some basic terms you should know:

  • Font: Perhaps the most common term, a font is the design of the letters within a typeface. For example, Calibri, Comic Sans or Papyrus.
  • Typeface: A typeface is a collection of these fonts in the same family. For example, Arial Black and Arial Narrow are both Arial fonts in the same typeface.
  • Size: The fonts within each typeface will have certain size differences such as width. The size of a font will directly impact how it looks on a page.
  • Hierarchy: Font choice can help you create hierarchy on a page, which directs the eye toward the most important information. For example, headers set apart with bigger and or separate font styles can catch the eye and keep visitors scrolling through your copy.

Why Is Typography Important for Your Website?

Why do all of these random definitions matter? The words you place on your website can make the difference between a new customer and another visitor added to your bounce rate. Although it’s a strong claim, the way the words look on your website really do hold that power.

Distracting Websites Are Useless Websites

Using many different fonts and font colors on your website will distract your visitor. Additionally, they make it incredibly difficult for your visitor to gather information, which is why they came there in the first place.

The Fix

Choose a simple typography scheme for your website that includes two to three fonts. For example, you might choose one main font for headers and two supporting fonts to use for body copy and for emphasizing text on the page.

This is also a great opportunity to play with a font’s typeface to see which one works best for your website’s design.

Content That’s Hard to Read Turns Visitors Away

Readability matters. Fonts that are too small or blocks of text that cover the entire page are difficult to read, which turns visitors away fast.

The Fix

Remember hierarchy? This is where it comes into play. Use your headings and subheadings to break up the text on your page. Plus, make sure you’re using the absolute minimum font size of 16 for your body copy.

Typography Communicates Your Brand

The entire design of your website communicates who you are to your readers; typography is a huge part of that design. When a visitor lands on your website only to find fonts and type that don’t fit, they become confused about who you are.

The Fix

Use fonts that fit your brand’s message. For example, a creative business might use script fonts or more decorative styles. Yet, an attorney might want to stick with a professional font such as those found in the serif family. If you do use a decorative font, remember to do so sparingly.

What Message Do You Want to Communicate On Your Website?

Typography and the other style elements on your website communicate your brand and your overall message to your audience. Is your design saying what you want it to say? If not, send us a message.


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