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Fonts: Go Big or Go Home

Posted by Artisan on Feb 3, 2014 6:00:00 PM

Bigger isn’t always better – but there’s evidence to show that sometimes, going big with certain aspects of web design can be the difference between attracting visitors and chasing them away in droves.

Fonts: Go Big or Go HomeOne historical trend in web design has been the use of small fonts to cram as much information as possible onto a single page. Many professional designers still take this approach, believing that the use of small text will leave more room for images and catchy color schemes and other eye-catching adornments. In reality, using small fonts is one of the biggest mistakes that a web designer can make.

Why Are Small Fonts a Big Mistake?

Websites are informational sources and the one essential method of getting that information across – whether it’s information about a product or the services that a company provides – is through the written word. Even websites that are heavy on visual graphics require some words to put everything into context. If reading that text requires a site visitor to squint to see the text, there’s something seriously wrong.

The Multi-Platform Universe

People can now access websites through a variety of platforms, including smart phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. Each one of those platforms presents its own unique challenges to rendering a website easily readable. If the font size used for a website looks great on a 20-inch desktop monitor but is practically illegible on a tiny smart phone screen, the website owner is effectively cutting off a huge percentage of potential visitors who may have converted to paying customers.

Super-sizing Your Text

Recent trends show that website developers are achieving great success by designing websites that don’t just make fonts big enough to be read without trouble, but that use supersized fonts to increase readability. Using extra-large fonts forces content to be more economical.

Sales pitches and product descriptions have to be shortened when using supersized text, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Especially considering that the given time to attract a visitor’s interest (which has been estimated at somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds) is likely to shrink as a growing number of websites take to the internet. By inflating the size of a website’s text, designers can help their clients achieve increased traffic in two ways: making text easy to read on all sorts of internet-capable devices, and ensuring that text is concise and to the point.

The Two-Font Rule and Other Tips

One of the easiest mistakes to make when focusing on web text is to get a bit too free and easy with the fonts you choose. Some web designers like using different typefaces to stress certain elements of a page – like using different fonts for headers, sub-headers and text – but most well designed sites use no more than two. Any more than that can become distracting to the reader and can create visual confusion.

Paying attention to the empty spaces between letters and words is also key when picking a font that’ll make your website legible. Just as words that are too scrunched together can make for a difficult reading experience, words that have too much space between them can also be trying on the reader. Concentrate on achieving a fine balance that allows the reader’s eyes to move effortlessly from one word to the next.

Find Some Help

Artisan Talent offers tips and solutions for superior web design that can drive increased traffic and visitor engagement. If you’re a company seeking a fulltime interactive designer to improve your website, or a professional looking for a freelance web designer job, contact us today to learn more.

Tags: Design Resources

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