Interface Design

The Screen > Typography

........----..Web Typography
Computer screens rarely show better resolution than 85 dpi and since the users maintain control of of the display characteristics of their web browsers, unique challenges in web page typography exist!
.....-.....More about CSS
Cascading style sheets offer distinct advantages in managing the typography of large and complex web sites. They serve to distinctly separate the page content from the design and give greater typographic control with less coding.
One of the most recognized element of the modern web page is the 'hyperlink'. Hyperlinks within a web page can create two distinct problems for web page design. They can disrupt the flow of content within the page and are designed to take the user somewhere else. In essence, they take the user away from your web page.

Visual Logic
The scientist that invented HTML were not interested in visual appeal of the page. Levels of heading were initially designed only to designate the hierarchy importance of the title. Over time the conventions have evolved and much more emphasis is placed on the visual appeal of the web page. While a greater emphasis is now placed on the appearance of the page, the visual logic of the page cannot be sacrificed.

The visual appeal of a web page is of little value if the page lacks the ability to communicate with the user. Typography is that part of page design that when used with the design concepts previously described (see 'Screen') create patterns of organization within the page that enhance the legibility of the text. Alignment, justification, line length, and font are some of the characteristics of typography that combine to determine the legibility of your page.

Type Characteristics
Other characteristics of type can influence the typography of your page. These include devices that are used to add emphasis to your text. Bold, italics, underlining, and the use of capitalized letters are some tried and proven methods of adding emphasis to text. Overuse of any of these devices will de-emphasize the effect and degrade the appearance of your page.

Other Ingredients
White space, indention, and paragraph spacing are other ingredients of a well planned, legible web page. These tools should help you to round out your web page.

Rev 22-Aug-2004
John Rivoire