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Typography in Web Design

Last Updated : 28 Feb, 2024
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Other than the visual elements, text is the most important form to communicate with the users, sometimes, text is even more important than the visuals itself. Therefore, we as user interface designers must focus on the Typography of UI design.

Typography in Web Design

Typography for Web Design

In this article, we will be talking about what Typography is in Web Design along with the typefaces, importance, practices to follow and avoid in Typography.

What is Typography in Web Design?

Typography simply is a technique in user interface design to create readable, appealing, attractive, and easy-to-eye text for users to read. Typography plays an integral role in any website’s design.

Good typography is soothing to the eyes and creates a long-lasting impression on the minds of the user.

Typefaces in Typography

Typefaces simply are the way of designing typography. Typefaces are distinct styles of writing for any font. It includes design for everything every set of characters – from letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, to symbols.

Typefaces define the visual appearance of character and hence the visual appearance of the entire typography. It is one of the most important parts of typography that sets the tone of the text.

There are two Typefaces you must know:

  • Serifs
  • Sans-Serifs

1. Serifs

Serifs are the oldest font styles whose characteristics are the small feet at the end of a stroke on the letter. Serifs help the reader follow the letter easily making them highly clear and readable. Serif fonts convey a very traditional vibe you can find these fonts being used in long-form copies for example, on books, magazines and newspapers.

Going back in history, characters used to be created by chiseling on stone, and the chisel created small feet at the end of each stroke. This is how Serifs were born.

Example: Times New Roman

There are multiple types of Serif font styles, most important ones are:

  • Old Style Serifs
  • Transitional Serifs
  • Modern Serifs
  • Slab Serifs
  • Clarendon Serifs
  • Glyphic Serifs
  • Didone Serifs
  • Tuscan or Western Serifs
  • Contemporary or Transitional Serifs

2. Sans-Serifs

“Sans” in the word Sans-Serif in French basically means “without”, therefore, sans-serif typefaces are those that lack serifs. San-serifs fonts are simpler to look and are mostly used as body copy, display and headlines. Sans-Serifs fonts are considered as clean, minimal and modern looking. They were first used in the 15th century.

Example: Helvetica

There are multiple types of San-Serif font styles, most important ones are:

  • Grotesque Sans-Serif
  • Neo-Grotesque Sans-Serif
  • Humanist Sans-Serif
  • Geometric Sans-Serif
  • Transitional and Contemporary Sans-Serif
  • Display and Decorative Sans-Serif
  • Monospaced Sans-Serif

Importance of Typography in Web Design

The importance of typography in Web Design is immense, the importance of typography can be explained by the following points:

1. Setting a hierarchy

Typographic hierarchy is a method of ordering typefaces and fonts in a layout to create divisions that show users where to focus and how to find information. This helps the user to identify which is the most important part of text and which text can be ignored.

2. Legibility – Making text easy to read

Legibility is simply the readability of the code. Typography makes it very easy to understand and read the text. This helps a lot in clean and concise communication with the user. The job of typography is to make the product easier to read and navigate.

3. Communicating Effectively

The way we design our text plays an important role in effective communication of the mission and vision of the company. Great typography along with great content writing can change the way people feel about the website/application.

4. Better User retention

User retention depends a lot o the visual elements, but text also makes a significant contribution to a better user retention. Good typography helps in catching the eyes of the user and making them read the message we want to convey with the intensity we want to convey it with.

5. Effective and Enjoyable interaction

Typography greatly helps in providing Effective and Enjoyable interaction to the users. Text styling is aimed at easy, enjoyable and effective interactions between the users and the text. The primary goal of Typography is to provide the best interaction with the text.

Best Practices for Typography in Web Design

Here are a few best practices you should follow for perfect typography in your interface design:

1. Visual balance

We have to make sure that the font properties especially the font color go well with the other visuals in the design, as well as we must make sure that the font matches the mission we want to communicate through the website or application.

2. Use a limited amount of fonts

A lot of fonts being used on a page makes it stressful for the users to look in. Many UI designers recommend to only use two fonts in a website or an application, rather change other properties if the fonts to make them distinct. You can do that by changing various properties of the font like, font weight, color, line height, spacing etc.

3. Proper Typography contrast

Contrast can be created by using two distinct fonts rather than similar ones, by changing the font weight, by changing the text spacing, or through font color and background color. While creating typography, we should also take in account how the typography is going with the overall contrast of the design.

4. Line Width

Make sure that the text line-length/line-width is not too long. The problem with longer lines of text is that it becomes harder to read on a screen. Therefore, make sure that you have a good size to check your line length.

5. Proper use of plugins

There are so many plugins like Count text in Adobe XD, Font Fascia in Figma, etc. that you can use to enhance your work flow, increase your productivity and improve your output.

6. Line Height

Line height simply is the spacing between two adjacent base lines. An 100% line height will make your text look cluttered and compact. A perfect range of line height is somewhere between 120% to 180%.

7. Font Sizes

A very important practice in typography for web design is to make sure that you are using readable font sizes. When it comes to body and paragraph text a minimum of 16 to 17 points is the perfect font size. Use at least 15 pixels for long text and at least 14 pixels for dense interfaces. This is the font size that takes most of your webpage/application’s font.

8. Mobile typography

Whenever you are using large headings make sure that when you design the mobile version of the application/website, you scale those large headings down. Adjust the font size accordingly for the mobile version of the application or the website.

Typography mistakes to avoid

Typography is a double edged sword, make sure you don’t make these mistakes to get the best out of your typography:

  • Rags: Rags are the uneven vertical margin of a block of text depending that depends on the the text alignment. you should pay a close attention to the shape of the rag on the block of a text. Rags should be evened out by adding another line and using hyphens for removing Rags.
  • Improper font selection: Font selection is one of the most crucial part of typography, a lot of the message tone depends on the font selection. For new projects, choose fonts based on personality traits and the type of project and content. Make sure that the font tone and the message you want to communicate are matching.
  • Avoid mixing typefaces: We already discussed what Typefaces are, never mix up your typefaces. The typography should be consistent and easy on the eyes of the user. Always avoid mixing the typefaces.
  • Avoid using longer line width: Like we discussed in the above sections, make sure to not have a longer line-length/line-width for text. The problem with longer lines of text is that it becomes harder to read on a screen. The golden rule is to never go over 90 characters in a line.
  • Using a lot of fonts: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. One of the best ways to create a soothing typograph is to use a limited amount of fonts. A lot of fonts being used in a page makes it stressful for the users to look in. The ideal number of fonts would be two. You can rather change the properties of the fonts for creating hierarchy.

Top Typography Fonts

When it comes to UI design for websites and applications, there are certain very important fonts that most of the UI designers use. Here is a list of most common font families that you will need to create a good typography UI design so that you can save your time searching for fonts online:

  1. Inter
  2. Space Grotesk
  3. Work Sans
  4. DM Sans
  5. Satoshi
  6. Supreme
  7. Switzer
  8. Open Sans


Typography plays essential role in communicating with the users, it is not just about text decorations but it also improves the visual appeal of the website or application. In this article we discussed about Typography which is a technique in user interface design to create readable, appealing, attractive and easy on eyes text for the users to read. We learned about tips and tricks as well as best practices for typography. We have learned about the best fonts out there. We hope that this article helped you improve your understanding about typography and you got to learn something new from the article.

Typography in Web Design – FAQs

What is the best typography for a website?

The best typography for a website balances readability and aesthetics, often employing a combination of serif and sans-serif fonts for contrast.

What is the best font size for web content?

The recommended font size for web content is typically around 16 pixels (px) for body text.

What is a good typography?

Good typography is characterized by clear legibility, balanced spacing, appropriate font choice, and cohesive visual hierarchy.

Why is White Space used in Typographic Design?

White space in typographic design enhances readability, establishes hierarchy, and adds balance by separating text elements and creating visual breathing room.

How many characters should you use per line?

In typography for web design, a common guideline suggests aiming for around 50 to 75 characters per line.

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