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What is typography?

Typography is the visual appearance of text, created through the crafting and arranging of letters. Typography can be used to reinforce the message of the content, with font, color and size all playing a critical role in how a written word comes across to the person reading it.

The importance of typography

If something includes text - it has typography. And for a business, that covers just about everything: from your logo and website, to your documents and social media. This means that typography ends up being a huge part of your brand’s image, which is why it’s important to do it right:

  • Make your content presentable and readable: Aim to make your words as legible and reader-friendly as possible. People tend to skip over text that is cramped together or generally hard to read, while a good use of typography can make the reading experience easy and smooth.

  • Establish information hierarchy: Utilize different fonts, sizes, colors and more to correctly guide your audience through your text, drawing their attention to the most important messages first, and gradually leading them from there, all the way down to the fine print.

  • Build your brand’s image: Typography can serve an important role in your branding efforts. Most brands stick to one or two fonts in order to retain a cohesive look throughout their marketing assets. Fonts used to design a logo, however, are the only exception to the rule, as those can differ from the rest of the fonts used by the brand.


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Main elements in typography

Proper website typography will make the text legible, balanced, and inviting. To get an idea, have a look at some the best website typography examples. Some key elements of good typography include:

  • Fonts: The choice of fonts can greatly affect the look and feel of your text. The two main categories of fonts are serif and sans serif: serif fonts have small extensions at the edges of each character, while sans serif fonts do not have such extensions. Most fonts come in a variety of widths and styles, such as italics, bold, etc.

  • Leading: Also known as line height, this term refers to the space between the lines of text. The leading should be proportional to the type size, with bigger type size calling for a larger leading size. Too much space between the lines may make the text harder to read, while too little space may lead to your text looking cluttered.

  • Kerning: Kerning is a process of adjusting the whitespace between letters, depending on the shapes and letterforms of each pair of characters. The process of kerning is important in web design in creating a more balanced type, improving readability and enhancing the visual appeal.

  • Hierarchy: Textual hierarchy helps to differentiate the various textual information on the page, and signals the level of importance of each element. Hierarchy is established through stylistic changes such as the choice of font, its position on the page, letter size, weight, spacing, and color. For example, marking your title in bold and the date and time italics, sets those sections apart from the body text.

  • Alignment: Text alignment determines the direction to which the body of text is positioned. The main ways to align text are: flush left, flush right (aligned to the left or right, respectively), justified (the text is aligned to both margins or sides) and centered. Properly aligned text makes your content look professional and legible.


Related Term

Vector Art

Related Term

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

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