Tips and Tricks: Get started with web typography

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Typography is the art of arranging type into a legible, aesthetically pleasing and design-appropriate layout. In print this is set in stone; the reader can’t change the way the text appears once it’s been printed.

On the web, however, users can adapt their browser settings to increase or decrease the default font size, overwrite font-size choices the designer has made, or change colours to increase contrast. Consequently, you might think that effective typography isn’t possible on the web.

But not only is it possible; in many ways the web offers superior options to traditional typography. Not because as a designer you have finer control over how type is arranged or positioned, but because the web allows users to control the appearance of type to suit their own particular needs.

  • Check out our favourite web fonts – and they don’t cost a penny

That doesn’t mean, of course that as a designer you can abscond your responsibility to present beautiful type with carefully considered positioning and properties – many of the rules from print apply to the web. If you need a refresher in that, then you’ll find a rundown of the basics of typography in our article What is typography, but here we’re going to look at the specifics of what web typography (as opposed to print typography) demands…

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