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Working with large typography in your design

Friday, December 5th, 2014 by Servage

typographyIt is interesting to use large typography on the web to increase curiosity and achieve some desired results from your audience. However, you need to find a balance between the design and type as well as keeping the readability intact.

We usually don’t treat text as a visual element on the screen unless we think about a group of elements set up in a visually appealing way. Otherwise text is just “dull” information. If we see any visual property in texts, it is readability and sometime color. However, newer web design trends have changed the perspective on this, and now they have a hard time to keep that readability intact across the different sizes of screens.

Typography has definitely moved from print to screen, and the challenge today is keeping the result purposeful across responsive versions of the same content. It is important to consider font type, size, color, style, line heights, white spaces, and more related to the appearance of text on the various screens, ranging from tiny screens on smart-phones to large desktop monitors.

Visual impact of large typography

If we closely observe the designers’ activities with texts, we will find that they make the main title of the page or article the biggest, and usually also the boldest one. Sometimes they add color effects on them. Their sub-titles and headings have a bit smaller size and differ from the main title. Afterwards the size and intensity is decreasing in a hierarchical manner. The benefits of typographically correctly structured headlines include:

  • Treating text or parts of text as a visual element in design grabs the immediate attention of the visitors on the site.
  • Using the textual content in combination with typography to create an initial overview of the following content, thus using the headline to create curiosity and willingness to read on.
  • Using headlines as hierarchical elements draw a logic path where users can quickly travel through the nested levels of content to get an overview swiftly.
  • Staying consistent with the style for all levels of headlines builds a visually connected and appealing expression of the site, which makes it seem professional and well-structured. The user is more likely to stay at a site the user considers meaningful instead of confusing.

Key elements to achieve appealing typography:

Readability

Choose easy-to-read font styles that work nicely in multiple sizes across different device types.

Simplicity

It avoids confusion to use few instead of many different fonts on your site. Less is more, and thereby you avoid garbling too many visual impressions at once.

Harmony

Blending large types and headlines with the rest of the interface is a challenge, and should therefore be done with care. Keeping it to a few well-placed expressive text elements will usually give a cleaner impression and look rather than overloading the page with fancy effects.

References & more reading

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