Typography has always been important in marketing and design, but very few designers ever research what makes a typeface or design legible in marketing materials or Web design. Today, it’s vital to have a mobile-friendly website, so it’s even more important to know what helps your audience read your content.
Here are five tips on using typography to make your website highly readable:
- Choose the Right Font(s): Not all type fonts are created equal in Web design. Some fonts have irregular sizing between letters, which impacts legibility. Choose two fonts that fit the style and personality of your brand, and be consistent. Avoid using condensed type since it slows down readership.
- Beware of Reversed type: A Commonsense Direct & Digital Marketing study found reversed type (a dark background with white or light copy) will cut response rates by 50%! Lighter designs with a darker font are preferred by readers over reversed type by 47%, due to readability. This is a very common mistake many companies and designers make.
- Use Larger Type to Encourage Readership: Consider your readership when determining font sizes. According to the CDC, “approximately 14 million Americans aged 12 years and older have self-reported visual impairment.” In the government contracting space, the audience is typically 45 years of age and older. Small text will make a landing page difficult for them to read. One study found that small font sizes are the top complaint from people reading websites and online copy.
- Know How Readers Read Your Website: When emphasizing content, stick with italicized and bold Avoid centered and right-justified text, because Web users devote 69% of their time viewing the left half of the Web page, and only 30% viewing the right half. Prioritize and place the most important content above the fold, where users spend 80% of their time.
- Design for Mobile and Desktop, in This Order: Not all fonts are designed to be used on a screen or on a mobile device. Try testing fonts on several different devices, such as a smartphone, tablet, high-resolution desktop or laptop screen and a low-resolution screen. A recent study by Adobe on mobile usage between generations found that 92% of Millennials, 84% of Generation Xers and 69% of Baby Boomers consider their smartphones their primary device.
Considering the amount of copy on every website, typography makes up a large percentage of your Web design – if not most of it. Try using these tips to increase your legibility, readability and readership.
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