Why Typography Matters In Web Design

why typography matters web design fonts

The fonts you are using on your site may feel like a bit of an afterthought, but they can play a pretty crucial part of successful website design.

Web content is so much more than text on a page. If you have spent time and effort curating content for a website, then you want it to be read. If it is dull, illegible, or in an ill-fitting font, then you’re asking for it to be ignored. Taking the time to consider how your content looks is just as important as the time spent checking its quality.

Whether you are part of a San Francisco website design studio or a self-employed web designer, you want to make certain that you do things right. Every website you design should be impeccable and reflect a wide range of things, including your professionalism, expertise, and the client’s message they want to convey to their audience. Typography is one of the most crucial things in communicating messages to website visitors.

Typography often makes up about 90% of the design, and it is a communication art. When someone visits your website, they may not care much about the graphics, but surely they will read the content. Hence it is important to balance the graphics and text on the website. Many web developers and web designers ignore or never think about the typography – it is necessary to understand that it’s the psychological effect of conveying a message to an audience. Before reading the text, people judge the seriousness of the text based on the typography.

Typography In A Nutshell

Typography is an ancient discipline that can be most simply explained as the art of arranging and designing the written word. The earliest examples of typography go back as far as 1800 B.C. with the ancient Greeks, but the modern era of typography is tied to the mid-15th century when the printing press was invented.

Typography is important for one reason: because it is the primary way that designers can communicate with readers. Whether the medium is a book, a print advertisement, a billboard, or a television show, typography is important because it is the embodiment of the visual language.

What Is Web Typography?

Ninety-six percent of the Internet comprises written information or text. This text is distributed into big and small chunks of information that are spread over different pages with different formats.

The formatting of all this written information in a website’s design is what is known as ‘web typography’.

Typography is the most important part of web design because it influences the way that a website communicates with readers. From larger headlines and bold blocks to a small body, the various uses of text on the web are the core communication method. So, it is natural that how a web designer decides to arrange type on a web-page is crucial to the effectiveness of that site.

We see its usage everywhere, as all websites rely on typography to convey their message to the readers. However, some web designers tend to overlook the inevitable importance of typography and focus only on the visual or graphical part of the web design.

The Difference Between Web Typography And Print Typography

Using typography for a print medium like brochures, flyers, magazines, books, or outdoor mediums like pole signs and billboards, is different from using it for the computer screen. In terms of typography, the screen is a completely different medium. As with any design, you truly need to consider the medium that people will be viewing your design through. Consider the following two images:

When you are using typography in print design for something like a book, the fact that it will be viewed from relative proximity gives you the ability to play with the fonts quite a bit because it won’t hurt the readability much. If you are using typography for outdoor communication mediums like a billboard or poster, you know that the reader has only a fraction of time to view the board and consume what is being communicated. So you don’t mess with the fine-tuning of the typography much – instead, you might focus on the initial impression and readability of the type.

However, with a website, there are different objectives in mind. Designing typography for computers and the web requires the designer to divide lots of information into different segments and sub-segments. Also, a web page is not constant as it has to appear on different browsers, different Internet access devices, and different screen resolutions. So the web typography has to deal with a good number of issues compared to other mediums. So, while choosing typography for their website, a designer must consider the cross-platform compatibility and readability. These are just a few of the concerns that a web designer has to keep in mind when approaching a website.

Web Typography Involves Information

When it comes to web design, typography is not limited to choosing a font and laying it out; it is the art of dividing up bundles of information in such a way that the reader will have a good chance of finding what is of interest to him. It is where typography on the web becomes more like information design.

Typography on the web is as much about organising type into effective, meaningful layouts as it is about using a great typeface.

Drawing attention to a certain block of text, helping users find the content they are searching for or fitting a wide variety of content onto a single page is all done through typographic skills.

The idea of designing type to be more than just legible, but also to be meaningful, is part of what confuses a lot of people about web typography. Anyone can type out a paragraph of text; fewer people can use things like letter-spacing, line-height, and font-size to give it a sense of character. But the best web designers can organise type across an entire layout in a way that imparts meaning to readers and helps guide them across an entire website.


Typography is a major factor in how readable and legible the content on web pages is, which is why paying attention to it during the web design process should be a priority. Understanding its effect and applying the practices suggested is one of the simplest ways to stand out in your niche and create an identity for your brand or product.

Good typography should allow the reader to focus on the content and not the formatting. Good typography often goes unnoticed because it just makes sense. Typography is very effective and essential in today’s website design. It helps to make your website more interactive and easy to maintain too.