Let’s kick off with the basics: what actually is typography? In essence, typography is the art of arranging letters and text in a way that makes the copy legible, clear, and visually appealing to the reader. Typography involves font style, appearance, and structure, which aims to elicit certain emotions and convey specific messages. In short, typography is what brings the text to life.
In the video below, CareerFoundry UI design mentor Olga lifts the lid on why typography matters—and what difference it makes for your users.
Typography can be dated back to the 11th century, during the innovation of movable type. Before the digital age, typography was a specialized craft associated with books and magazines, and eventually public works. The first example of typography can be seen in the Gutenberg Bible, which kick-started a typography revolution in the west. Fun fact: the style of type used in the Gutenberg Bible is now known as Textura, and you’ll find it in the font drop down menu on major desktop applications today!
Fast forward to modern day, where typography is mostly associated with both the digital world and print. With the birth of the internet came a creative explosion of the art of typography. Suddenly, web designers had an abundance of fonts and type options at their disposal, making typography more visually diverse than ever before.
2. Why is typography important?
Typography is so much more than just choosing beautiful fonts: it’s a vital component of user interface design. Good typography will establish a strong visual hierarchy, provide a graphic balance to the website, and set the product’s overall tone. Typography should guide and inform your users, optimize readability and accessibility, and ensure an excellent user experience.
Let’s delve a little deeper into why typography is so important.
Typography builds brand recognition
Not only will good typography enhance the website’s personality, but your users will subliminally begin to associate the typeface featured on your site with your brand. Unique, consistent typography will help you establish a strong user following, build trust with your users, and help to carry your brand forward.
Typography influences decision making
Typography has a profound effect on the way that users digest and perceive the information conveyed by the text. Eye-catching type is much more persuasive than weak fonts that don’t reinforce the message of the text.