Typography for the Web

As I stated in my previous entry, web design and designing for print are different playing fields,similar, yet very different. The best way I know how to explain it for those not involved in either field is to think of Cricket and Baseball. They both have the same basic layout, however the details are very different. Both use an object to hit a ball and run bases. However the object to hit the ball is different, the balls are different, and the fields are different, yet you can still use one to explain the other. Although web and print design look similar, they really are not.
Through my research I realized something that should have been obvious from the start, but fonts were not created for the screen. They are created for print, for newspapers and magazines. Most fonts are not created with the web in mind. An example one of my sources shows is when you put a layout that was printed on a poster, on the web, the font is harder to read. The reason for this is because the type is aliased. Here is an example of what this means..

In my research i found that there are various ways to make type more readable on the web. Some of these ways are to change the x-height to make the type more readable, to use fonts in the same family so that there isn’t a lot of contrast in the message or confusion.

Although print designing isn’t “easier” than web designing, print designers most defiantly have different challenges. Hopefully through some practice and more research, I can find type faces I enjoy using when designing pages and understand the relationships with typefaces and the messages they carry.

On Web Typography


Typography Books


Web Design

When designing a web page, one must be aware that there are many different browsers, technologies other than computers, and various qualities of screens that we use to look at the pages. Some believe that designing for the web is less stressful than for print, due to the fact that you can always make tweaks on the page if you notice something you would like to change. But in print, you are stuck. This argument was brought forward by Mark Boulton on his chapter of “Designing for the Web” While he makes a valid point I have to argue why would you want to continually edit something while it is viewable to the public? If I was a user and went to a page where I would go to visit it 10 minutes later and it has some changes, I would become frustrated if this continually happened.
I also think designing for the web would be more difficult than designing for print. When you design, say a magazine cover, you know the dimensions you need, who your target audience audience is, and once you have finished designing it, you can sleep peacefully knowing that everyone will see your design the same way and the way it was intended. As I mentioned before, with the different browsers and technologies accessing the page, Web Designers don’t have the same luxury as those designing for print.
There is a post by Nicholas Holland which is an extreme example of how people believe web designing works. They view it as a simple way to take away or add features without it affecting the rest of the web. Although adding or taking away features may not be easy, designers can create pages that adapt to the user.
Ethan Marcotte explains how designers can design a page that adapts depending on the user. An example he gives is how architects now are able to create homes that change depending on how many people are in a room affecting the temperature and how see through the glass is. I think that this is a great article explaining how we do not have to stress over creating a new “home” for every browser or technology that is used. We can create one “home” and make it so its features will adapt to the different browsers or technologies being used. This truly makes the most sense.
I know that I am new to web designing and coding, so my opinion may change in the future, however regardless if it does or not, these articles were very informative and I hope to keep these ideas and thought in the back of my head.