Every time a discussion crops out about web designing the central topic of discussion always revolves around the relevance of content. Content forms the very core of any website. Many still argue that content is no longer relevant, but I beg to differ because if content is not relevant then, what possibly is? Do those people who talk about the irrelevancy of content have another option at hand to replace the content with? I guess not.
While mentioning about content, it would be a mistake to leave out the relevance of typography for beautifying the content. An essential element which defines typography of the content is the fonts that a web designer chooses for the text. Web designing has come a long way since its humble beginnings. In the early days only a very few fonts were available to designers, which meant that all websites looked almost similar. But now with the changes in technology a lot of font options are available to choose from.
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Since 2010 a new technical change to happen in web designing was that most major browsers starting with the Internet explorer 5 started providing @font-face support. Now even web font hosting services like (WOFF) Web Open Font Format are also making their presence felt. After paying the subscription fee a number of fonts can be hosted on a website.
Read these 11 must follow tips for choosing web design fonts for your content.
- Pick & Select
You have to be choosy about your fonts. Be very selective in your choice of font which looks perfect for your content. Apply the font on your text and give a thorough read. If you can read it then fine, otherwise try changing it until you are satisfied. Make sure that the font you choose is web ready and optimized.
- Typography first principal
The principal of Typography first must be religiously followed and a unique composition of fonts should be created as per the body text type rather than swapping fonts in the existing design. New and different fonts must be chosen instead of traditional or “web safe” fonts like Verdana.
- Watch out for the file size
The problem of plenty arises when you are going for too many fonts. A web font hosting service Typotheque supports 200 languages which can bloat up the file size. It is necessary to optimize it and remove unwanted characters from the web font to reduce the file size. Web browsers in any case will require only a fraction of characters.
- Stay tuned for modern browsers
Browsers keep updating and improving. For instance the new version of Firefox can display small caps, different numeral, ligatures etc. Keep your options open of providing such provisions for updated browsers.
- Designing as per the medium
Choose fonts on the basis of how well they look on-screen. San serif is a sturdy clan of fonts which can function well on almost all websites but they have to be adjusted in proportions to be readable in small sizes. Omitting fine details and a larger x-height solves the purpose. These adjustments are required as fonts on-screen are rendered through a browser.
- Check online for font options
There is nothing wrong with trying to know what’s out there. While browsing the internet you will stumble across websites which cover and review new fonts and display the sample text as well. See if you can come across something new to replace your existing fonts.
- Patience is a virtue
One should not rush things while choosing fonts. Good and decent work takes time and patience. Try out a few fonts before narrowing down to the fonts of your choice. Try and buy only should be your motto before availing a web font hosting service. After all you will be paying the subscription fee.
- Text specific suggestions
Typekit is a web font hosting service provider which offers a unique font-browsing interface. This interface provides recommendations of fonts based on the text type like Headings, paragraphs etc. When you like a particular recommendation then you can mark it as a favourite and add it to your website.
- Testing before final application
It is always wise to test and re-test as to how your font is looks on the screen after being rendered through a browser. Since responsive design is the only option today, it is always advisable to check as to how your font looks across all platforms, browsers and devices. The bottom line is that a font should be completely readable on a small screen smart phone too.
- Free font options. Not bad at all
Web font hosting service providers charge a subscription fee for their fonts. But there are free font options as well available online. You might have to search hard to find a few rare gems, but then free is free. It is completely possible to find a few good fonts which are free for use and download.
- Problem of plenty
This is a common problem over enthusiastic web designers tend to make. Today millions of fonts are available for use on a website, but that does not mean that you can use all of them at the same time. Think about a web page with 25 different fonts and what a mess it would create. Try and stick to just two fonts at the maximum for your web page.
In conclusion, fonts form the backbone of typography and a web designer needs to know the basic fundamentals of typography to ensure efficient use of fonts in order to achieve a readable and an impressive looking content.
About Author : Kristy Bernales is a Melbourne based web design consultant and analyst who works with Web Design Xperts, an Australian company which provides web designing services. You can either connect with her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.