Attractive, effective web design relies heavily on one element that has been around for hundreds of years longer than the internet or even computers themselves – typography. Throughout the last decade, even as a wider and wider choice of visual tools has become available for web programmers, some website designers have, from time to time, re-emphasized the importance of text, and with good reason.
In the end, websites are meant to convey information. No matter how many flashy visuals a website has, in the end most of the information the site contains is transmitted to site visitors by text. According to Oliver Reichenstein, the text on a website holds 95 percent of the information that the site has to offer. Even on the internet, the written word is of prime importance – so much so that Reichenstein wrote an influential (and controversial) essay in 2006 called “Web Design is 95% Typography.”
Naturally, that kind of statement can be an affront to those who have spent years learning and honing their web design skills, not to mention ongoing hours keeping up to date on the latest cutting-edge trends in web development.
However, the internet abounds with examples of eye-catching, useful and easy-to-navigate pages constructed primarily, or even entirely, with text. Perhaps there are even more examples of web pages where visual elements abound, but are used in such an uncontrolled way that the pages’ messages are obscured rather than enhanced by the runaway graphics.
Experts caution that typography means more than just choosing fancy fonts. Again, too many different fonts at play can have the same distracting or message-muddying effect as poorly chosen images or dynamic elements. Smashing magazine suggest that there is no greater demonstration of this fact than MySpace. Rather, just as in print media, typography consists of the arrangement of text and space on the page in a way that is artistic and attractive yet that doesn’t call too much attention to itself. Most importantly, typography should help, not hinder, a website visitor in finding the information he or she wants.
For a well-designed website that will give visitors a great first impression of your business or organization, call the Phoenix web design experts at CyberDesign. Our professionals can help you with website design, redesign, custom programming, hosting, e-commerce and more. Call CyberDesign for a consultation and quote at 623-414-4444.