Ultimately the art of web typography goes back to the handwritten word. Although the traditional typesetter and printing trade is slowly disappearing the importance of web typography to a design project is perhaps one of the cornerstone aspects.
Art of Web Typography
Typography is the art and skill of setting type for a design project. In traditional typesetting, letters and words were created using blocks of lead and wood. In the digital world, I have those tools at my fingertips with design applications such as Adobe Muse for web and Adobe Indesign for my print projects.
Legibility and Readability
Modern typography has targetted principally at the authority of legibility and comprehension. Primary is the distinction between legibility and readability. Legibility is what makes it possible to distinguish one character from another. Readability is what makes it possible to recognise them as words.
Type influences our emotions and allows us to help the words on a page tell a story. Chances are a book or magazine the type styles or ‘typefaces’ were carefully considered and chosen to convey a message, grab ones attention or to encourage you to read further. However, until recently most web design suffered from a distinct lack of choice of typefaces. Today, however, Google Fonts and Typekit and many other type foundries offer an enormous array of typefaces.
Karen Cheng in the introduction to her book designing type describes type as the visual manifestation of language. She uses the metaphor of music, the quality of an individual singer can change the experience of a composition. In visual communication, the type is equivalent to an audible voice – linking the author and the reader.
Typography exists to honour content. Robert Bringhurst
Knowledge and understanding of typographic principles produce words that are comfortable to read, and type that matches the visual idea that one seeks to communicate.
Simon is a Sydney based digital designer. He is the Director of a boutique digital design studio, Bailey Street Design located in the vibrant inner west suburb of Newtown. Simon studied graphic design at Shillington College and specialises in web design for small and medium size businesses. Simon and his team (Toby the studio dog) are passionate about visual communication in the digital environment
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