It takes a lot of creativity and planning to conquer the spaces of the world’s most powerful form of communication. Internet as we know it is not only a combination of video, graphics and multimedia.
The strategic placement and structuring of each of the elements is equally important. And the most important of them all is type or the written words. To ensure that the type face is legible and readable is to ensure that the viewer will not navigate away from the page.
Your typesetting will give the reader the choice of either skimming through the piece of information quickly and easily or comfortably digesting the larger sections of the text. A good type will make it easier for the reader to read, understand and appreciate the content. And as a web designer a reader’s contentment should be your ultimate goal. Given below, are 10 points which a good web designer will never compromise with. Read on to find what they are, and how to apply them to your next web design projects.
Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Web Designer
1. Only three typefaces per design should be applied
This is one basic rule you should never do away with. Including more three typefaces can bring in disunity and leave the reader confused. He will not be able to relate the texts in different typeface (or fonts) clearly even if the information divulged is same. It is better sometimes if clarity downplays creativity for the sake of comfort.
2. Keep the minimum body copy size of 14 pixels
Talking about reader’s comfort, this point is a top notch decider. Generally, a font size of 14 pixels and above is considered to be good enough for a comfortable reading on screen. Of course there are other factors too which are responsible for the readability of the text like the typeface and spacing. But, size matters. Since not many of us do not have 20-20 vision, 14 pixels is a safe bet.
3. Apply stress and emphasis discreetly
Redundancy is so not acceptable in the web designing business. Surplus emphasis and stress like underlines, italics, bolds and highlights will litter up your text. This is a typographic cum editorial principle. Stress only the intentionally required area. This will also ensure its importance.
4. Headlines should be large and catchy
Headlines are the first things a viewer notices when he hits a page. It has the power to instantaneously catch hold of and grip his attention. It is seen in many places that the headlines are just slightly bigger than the body copy. This stripes the headline off its power of attention holder.
5. Ensure a good text to background ratio
A large font size undeniably makes reading easier. However, things get worse when the reader realizes that he doesn’t know if he has to concentrate on the text or the background. The contrast can sometimes take away the appeal. Normally the rules ask us to put dark text on a light background or vice versa so that an ideal contrast ratio is maintained. Avoid following combinations like grey on white or dark blue on black.
6. Never set continuous text in full capitals
Ascenders and descenders allow us to easily identify the words and read them comfortably. A word which is entirely set in uppercase can leave the reader irritated. The uniformity of the height and the baseline is to be blamed. For example: IT IS HARDER TO READ THE TEXT SET IN CAPITALS THEN THE TEXT SET IN UPPER AND LOWERCASE. Now, see the same line set in upper and lower case: It is harder to read the text set in capitals then the text set in upper and lower case.
7. Give the type breathing space, set sufficient measures and leading
Leading straight on from the close of the last rule make sure your text has enough space. Both horizontal and vertical space should be taken care of to ensure perfect spacing for perfect readability. Ensure that the lines are neither too short nor too long. Provide enough space between lines but do not overdo it as it will rip the text apart.
8. Use only web safe fonts
Do not use fonts which are not designed for the screen use. There is plethora of options available with nice typefaces. Pick one amongst them. But do remember to check their compatibility on various web browsers to see if these search engines support the type of font you have used.
9. Make sure the webfont assets are cached and subsetted
The page size will increase if you use the webfont assets. The browser will have to download the font for rendering the text. To reduce this, you can subset the font by removing unneeded glyphs for characters that you will not ever use again.
10. Do not use Comic Sans
Comic Sans can never give the seriousness you require in your text content. It is more of a ‘personal use’ font. There are many attractive typefaces available. Choose amongst them. Some of them like Comic Jens are freely licensed.
Are you a web designer? Do you have more other useful tips to share? Please use the comment box.