It is only logical to say that a web designer should get good training in the main discipline of shaping written information, in other words: Typography. 95% of the information on the web is written language.
This is a very visual theme, merging pictures and text seamlessly, featuring a grid based, patchwork portfolio section and page that tempts your visitors. This goes much deeper in thinking.
The days of “websafe” fonts are over.
Hierarchy, leading, kerning, and composition are crucial in making a digestible webpage. Believe it or not, your webpage can be as beautiful as a spread in GQ or as clean as the pages of your favorite novel.
The design principles of print design are exactly the same for web design and for interior design, for product design, etc. Every time a ‘print’ designer says they can’t design for the web I think an aspiring designer’s passion dies. It’s just crazy-talk. In fact — more of you ‘print’ designers need to be designing websites. The internet will only be better looking because of it.
Choose your typography
Exploring different typefaces and colours is part of the discovery phase of a project.
Overall choose a font that is easy to read for long amount of text and be more playful with titles and call to actions. Don’t be afraid of using big fonts and overall be playful and consistent when using typography.
I encourage every designer out there to challenge themselves on every project. Innovation doesn’t always come as a requirement for the project so it’s up to us to come up with something interaction or design related.
Many people working on the web today have some knowledge of typography, but my hunch is that many designers are about to feel quite baffled by the new challenges they face.
Information design is not about the use of good typefaces, it is about the use of good typography. Which is a huge difference. Anyone can use typefaces, some can choose good typefaces, but only few master typography. As part of a community of designers, we all love to see not just the final results but also the work in progress. Sometimes the best part of a project is left out for several reasons and gets lost in your Archive folder.
Where to start
In summary, being a web designer means that you’ll always be learning and you’ll forever be a student of technology, design, and process.
But this both confirms and overlooks the fact that research has proven that articulating a thought process via a different medium (more often than not – by speaking the question) can often result in enlightenment. I am sure we have all at several time in our lives worked out the answer to our own question whilst just talking to someone else about it.
I appreciate what you’re saying. But I think it’s dangerous to empiricize about what working style is most productive.
Great article—it’s been wonderful to see the evolution of rich web typography in the past few years, and I feel that given the accessibility and volume of information on the web, typography will become even more important to pixelpushers.