Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Brief Overview of Web Typography

The choice of a fond is an important decision for a web designer. Fonts affect a website’s tone and its visual representation. Fonts should be readable for users and should be cross-browser compatible.

In this brief overview, I will discuss serif, sans-serif, mono, cursive, and fantasy fonts.

Serif fonts have little lines called serifs on the end of the font. Serif fonts are the best choice for lengthy text printed in books, magazines, and newspapers. The most popular serif font is Times New Roman or Times on Mac.

Sans-serif fonts are considered more suitable for computer screens. Verdana and Georgia are most widely used fonts on the Web. The best size for Verdana is 11 or smaller. Georgia looks best at 14 pixels. Arial and Helvetica are nice fonts, but most web designers prefer Verdana. My favorite font is Trebuchet MS, which adds a sophisticated look to your site.
Monospace fonts are typefaces in which all characters are the same width. Monospace fonts are used for computer programming and tabulated data in plain text documents. I use Courier New to show snippets of code or for computer and programming related websites. Examples of monospaced typefaces are Courier, Prestige Elite, and Monaco.

For children’s websites, I prefer to use cursive and fantasy fonts. Cursive fonts emulate handwriting: Comic Sans, Comic Sans MS, cursive, etc. Fantasy fonts are decorative fonts mainly used for titles: Impact, Fantasy, Jokerman, etc. However, I would import Cursive and Fantasy fonts as Flash text since users might not have these fonts installed on their computers.

It is important to supply a list of font alternatives when you define the font for your website text.
Sample CSS:

1 comment:

Christy Tucker said...

Cool! I am using Verdana and Georgia in the courses I'm currently designing. Guess I did OK then. :)