Internet Web Design: Font Types and Sizes
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Good internet web design must always have the needs of the user or site visitor in mind. After all, it is visitors to a web site who will be using it most, not the web master or designer. In this article we will look at the proper use of fonts in your web pages.
The biggest mistake that newbies to internet web design make is thinking in terms of what is fun to design, not what would convenient for visitors later on. It's easy to get carried away with your web design work and forget that it's only the end product that will matter—at least to your visitors. Newbie web designers like to experiment with fancy fonts. In truth, only a few of them are useful.
Good Internet Web Design with Fonts Rule #1: Beware of using fancy fonts. For one, most people won't have that cool fantasy font you have installed on their computers. Even if you offer it for download (and you must beware of copyright infringement), few will bother to download it just to see your brilliant web design. Don't be quick to use it with graphic buttons even. If you do, make sure the font type fits the theme of your site, and that the graphic buttons are quite readable.
Good Internet Web Design with Fonts Rule #2: DO change your fonts! Yes, some web designers use too many fonts. On the other extreme, there are those who don't exploit them. DO NOT use Times New Roman. That font is thin and harder to read than say, Verdana or Arial. We prefer Times New Roman for printing only; it saves on ink unlike those other, relatively bold fonts.
Good Internet Web Design with Fonts Rule #3: Pick a font that suits the mood or genre you wish to convey. Fonts like Century Schoolbook and Book Antiqua are elegant alternatives to the common Times Roman, but they are more for literary web sites. If you're a poet or essayist, you can try those. Your viewers won't be in a hurry to read. But if you're running a business or information-oriented site, stick with Verdana or Arial. If your web site emphasizes humor, try Comic Sans Serif. For graphic banners only, some fancy fonts like Marriage, Old English, Monotype Corsiva and Zurich Calligraphic may be tried at the right font size.
Good Internet Web Design with Fonts Rule #4: NEVER specify the height spacing of your text. Too often web designers forget visually impaired people who need to adjust their font sizes to be able to read. If you use a CSS code like this:
style="COLOR: black; FONT: 8pt/11pt Verdana"
you are sure to end up in the hate-list of these people. This makes the text unreadable when the font size is changed Windows Explorer. Do not write just for people wit 20/20 vision. Don't forget the near-sighted ones. Of course, they can always use magnifying glass software. But don't rely on them to figure out the solution. That's your job as a good web designer.
Quick fix: Just omit the first 8pt in the example and you'll be fine.
The proper use of fonts is a key in good internet web design. Text is what your visitors will be looking at 80-90% of the time. So make it look good. We advise you to play on the conservative side. Hopefully these tips will help.
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