Web design in many ways is very similar to fashion design. One new trend can revolutionize everything, only to be replaced by another one a few years down the road. Web design has evolved by leaps and bounds over the last decade but one thing that had always stayed the same is fonts and typography, until recently. With the adoption of the @font-fact CSS rule and improved browser support, there are now over 50,000 different types of fonts available to designers, all of whom work in all major search browsers including Internet Explorer. This has brought font styles and typography in a new light.
With that being said, last year was the year of experimentation, trial and error in terms of typography. This resulted in some very successful and prominent typography styles that have become popular trends this year. Below we will shed some light on these typography trends in an effort to educated web designers about what’s ‘in’ and what’s not.
Usage of Large Fonts
Larger LCDs have essentially led the way for larger fonts. The standard 12pt font simply does not cut it anymore as more and more people now have access to a 21 inch screen. Headings no doubt have to comprise of bold large text but the regular content itself needs to be enlarged as well at some instances to highlight important phrases. Using large fonts have a two-fold purpose. First off, they make the entire page more readable and can also work as a stand-alone design in many instances.
Mix Up Font Size & Font Weight
Using the same font type all over the page can make it look dull. Having a nice mix of font weights adds to the visual appeal and improves readability. Not only does it make the design layout more interesting, it also creates ’emphasis zones’ on the page, prompting readers to view specific information first. Using bold is a good strategy however it must be used scarcely. Bold headings are fine. So are keywords. However making entire paragraphs bold is not search engine friendly and can even incur a negative penalty on the site’s ranking.
This is my favorite personal by all means. Depending on what your client’s industry is, implementing handwritten font styles in an amazing way to make the website look more appealing and attractive. Firstly it adds an element of realism in the content. People respond to text that they can relate to. Handwritten topography has proven to be an instant eye-catcher and more and more websites are now using it in their web design. Obviously this will not work for all businesses. If your client is interested in a more sober approach, do not use these fonts.
The Art of Color Contrasting
There is an ongoing debate on this particular topic. Many designers cite concern over using contrasting colors with respect to the background color. The fact remains that more and more websites are now utilizing this technique to make their website more appealing. Recent studies and analysis has shown that by reducing the contrast in relation to the background color adds more depth and sophistication to the overall web appearance. It also improves page navigation.
More White Space Please
Some may find it hard to believe but by increasing white space between letters actually fulfills the criteria for a cool website. A few letters won’t have any impact but an entire page following similar pattern will create a noticeable and pleasurable affect for the website. Too much cluttered text can make any site less readable and frustrating for viewers to extract information. In fact, it acts as a catalyst for viewers to leave your website and move on to a competitor’s. Remember, ‘more white space translates to less noise’.
To conclude, trends will come and go but one thing remains certain. Web typography will only continue to get better in the coming years. With more and more new fonts emerging, designers will add to their already vast pool of font types and create visually appealing content. In the end, it will only make a web site better than ever.