Typography or the kind of typeface used in a Web site has specific characteristics. In general, we can describe a site’s typography in two ways: a communicative way and a readability-orientated way. The typographic features of a site do not conform to the classic use of advertisement. We will see why later on.
The communicative aspect deals with how the typeface shape has a parallel meaning to what it expresses. Words have one meaning due to language and another meaning based on the typeface they are written in. As any other kind of design, Web design uses certain typographies to refer to certain things. Some typographies communicate seriousness; others comicality; some others progress, etc. The proper use of typographies allows us to achieve a communicational medium and this medium has specific, very interesting features. When someone reads the name of a company, which is written in certain typeface ?for instance, a typeface that communicates seriousness and trust? he does not say «this company is telling me it is safe and reliable»; he just reads the name. What happened to the typeface’s message? Is it lost? Of course it is not. The message was not lost; the recipient failed to notice it in a conscious way. The message has shirked his consciousness. However, this is not a problem: on the contrary, it is interesting and positive. Even though the recipient did not notice the message in a conscious way, it has been received and stored in his memory just next to the company’s name he read and consciously received. The power of messages that directly get to the subconscious is very important in the advertisement field; that is the best way to persuade people.
The text readability-orientated aspect of a Web site is something particular and exclusive to this corporate identity’s component, only partially shared with TV advertisement. As regards the other design’s components, it is advisable to use Serif typography for long texts. However, the opposite happens when talking about Web design: Sans Serif or without serifs typographies are recommended. Serif typography is the one that uses serifs to shape letters, the one that ends letters with a short, crossed line. Sans Serif typography is the one without serifs.
In this kind of print media, Serif typography is always preferred, due to its beauty but mainly because it goes along with the reading and does not tire readers so much. All printed material uses this typography for long texts aiming at not tiring readers and holding their attention. However, Serif typography is more decorated than Sans Serif. Screens show it a bit blurred because they cannot perfectly show it, due to their low resolution. That is why, even though Sans Serif is more monotonous than Serif typography, it is preferable in Web design, because blurred words with serifs scare readers away or result in loss of concentration.
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