10 Web Typography Rules Every Designer Should Know

When someone visits a website you’ve designed, the odds are that they don’t care much about the colors, images or sounds, they’re immediately looking at the text.

No matter how many bells and whistles you’ve built into a website, everyone relies on text to accomplish whatever they’re visiting the site to do.

That alone should make typography, the art of arranging type, a priority for any web designer.

In this article we take a look at 10 easy rules to keep in mind when designing your next web project.


1. Read through the text yourself

With a design like JonesingFor a designer without a great grasp of the text would have struggled to put together the typography that makes this site really work. As you tackle your own typography, you probably don’t have to worry about writing a site’s text — but you do have to read it!

Some web designers think that just copying and pasting out of a text file constitutes the total of their textual duties. But reading through the text provides at least a basic idea of how the text can be integrated into a website, avoiding the disconnect between the writing and the design of a website.

You can kick your typography up yet another notch, if you can read through the text once it’s in place in your design. Take special note of the space around the letters. Do you have any unusually big spaces that look odd? A little careful typography can eliminate those issues. You can also get an idea of lines that might be too long to easily read, awkward line breaks and similar issues.


2. Dump Lorem ipsum as soon as possible

Do you think you could have designed Jesus Rodriguez Velasco’s website without the actual text? The site is heavily dependent on the written word — and very specific words too. Even the body text got special attention with a drop cap and some other tweaking that just wouldn’t have been possible with Lorem ipsum.

Unless the text of your website is actually Lorem ipsum, dummy text will bear no similarity to the real thing. That means that any tweak you might make to the text — or the design surrounding it — will have to wait until you get the real thing. Asking for (and getting) text from your client as early as possible in the process will give you the ability to match your overall design and your typography.


3. Show a clear hierarchy

When you arrive at Rik Cat Industries, you know immediately where you should start reading. Even though there are a few links at the top of the page, Rik’s welcome catches your eye first. It’s much bigger, using typography to establish a clear hierarchy.

Every site needs a well developed hierarchy: indicators of where to start to start reading and how to proceed. Your typography can provide that hierarchy — just as Rik’s does — as long as you know your hierarchical order ahead of time. By thinking about size and typefaces, you can highlight a piece of text as a headline in a way that different placement in the design just can’t provide.

Your design’s hierarchy goes beyond just the typography you employ, of course, but since users almost always start with the text, it makes sense for designers to do the same.


4. Pay attention to both macro and micro typography

Relying entirely on typography for their front page, the Crowley Webb and Associate’s website was designed with two factors in mind: both macro and micro typography.

Macro typography is the overall structure of your type, how it appears in the context of your design and its aesthetic when you consider your text as a block on its own.

Micro typography is more concerned with the details of spacing, the issues that determine whether words are easy to read. Micro typography is an absolute necessity when it comes to putting together a block of text: if it isn’t legible, there’s no point in proceeding. Crowley Webb and Associates addressed this question through both careful writing and spacing out those words that the site would highlight.

But macro-typography provides you with the opportunity to make your text more than well-spaced: it’s the chance to make it look appealing and a part of your whole design. The choice of typefaces and colors on this website create a viable whole. Ignoring either facet of typography is detrimental.


5. Take care with type colors

It would be so easy to lose text in the background of ArtofElan, especially the bright red on dark red combination used by the designer. When a web designer works with colored type, care is absolutely necessary, there’s no guarantee that a red on red combination, or even a yellow on red combination will be visible. After all, everyone has visited a website where the text seemed to be only one shade off from the background color and gotten a case of eye strain when they tried to read it.

The easiest fix for this situation is to make sure that the color of your type is drastically different from that of your background. Black and white work so well because they are as drastically different as you can get, but there are some color combos that work well: something along the lines of a dark blue on a light pink will get the job done. Reversed out text is pretty tricky… while you can work with light pink text on a dark blue background, you’re more likely to get a complaint about it.


6. Get serious about your CSS

If your CSS is solid, you can move between pages of your website seamlessly, just as the different versions of Hutchouse.com rely on different stylesheets to create some impressive effects. Even if you don’t take things as far as Hutchhouse, CSS can help eliminate amateur typography issues like changing up typefaces and sizes between pages.

CSS can provide easy consistency between your typography across the entirety of a website. If you are consistent in how you use type, however, breaking that consistency even a small amount can make whatever you wish to highlight truly stand out, just like establishing and then breaking a grid can make for an effective design. In web typography, keeping your fonts consistent can be a simple matter of CSS.


7. Ditch the centered text

Choosing an alternative to centered text can make a website design easy to read, just like DesignCanChange.org. Opting for centered text, especially on a page like this, would make for a problematic page: the jagged edges centering creates on each side make it much harder to read and there are plenty of opportunities for perfectly centered text to wind up distorting the rest of your designs on different displays.

In some circles, centered type is only one step up from using Comic Sans in a website design. You might consider it for a headline, but in general, aligning your text to the left will make your readers much more comfortable, unless they read from right to left.


8. Deal with smart quotes and other symbols

Luigi Ottani’s site showcases what careful attention to quotation marks and other symbols will get you: a complete lack of problems when the site displays those symbols. Many websites are dotted with symbols a browser cannot display. It’s a legacy of the fact that most of the text a web designer works with was probably written in Microsoft Word or another piece of word processing software that makes all sorts of little changes to text without the writer paying much attention.

One of the worst changes is smart quotes: the curly quotation marks Word automatically substitutes for straight quotation marks. Another problem area comes when you work with text written in another language: accents and umlats can cause just as much trouble as Word’s helpfulness. If you just copy and paste text with such changes into your design, you’ll likely have to go back and fix them later, at least for some web browsers.

Instead, get them early in the design process so you can focus on making your text fit better with your design. If you do want those fancy symbols and smart quotes showing up in the final design, break out your HTML entities.


9. Plan for your text to get larger

When you increase the size of the text on Veerle Pieters’ website, it’s not quite as pretty than if you use the font size she picked out. However, you can still read everything, locate links and so forth, something that is true of very few websites.

That’s because, in part, many designers make sure to layout text in 10 point font or even smaller. Most people are comfortable reading such fonts, but Baby Boomers make up a huge section of the web-browsing population and a lot of those aging web surfers are going to have their browsers set to display type as large as they can. Your text, as well as your design, needs to be able to adapt to that fact.

It’s also worth taking into account the fact that browser size can vary dramatically, moving text around to unexpected locations if you aren’t careful. If bumping the size up a point creates problems, that older demographic is going to move on to the next website in a hurry. Having to scroll forever over to the side will have a similar result.


10. Show a preference for sans serif

If you look at the A List Apart’s website, pretty much every big block of text is set in a sans serif typeface, making it much easier to read. Headlines and other smaller blocks of text are laid out in serifed fonts, creating a balance between the two.

When it comes to laying out text on a screen, sans serif fonts are almost always the best bet, especially if you chose a font like Verdana that was designed for display on a computer screen. Serifed fonts have a higher chance of displaying poorly, becoming blurry or even pixelated.

It’s not possible to entirely avoid serifs, of course. But for large blocks of text especially, using a font without serifs can offer an extra level of guarantee that visitors will be able to easily read a site’s text. When you’re choosing fonts for a project, look through your sans serif options first.


A final comment

Typography is easily overlooked, and even when a designer does take it into consideration, it’s easy to write off as a time-intensive activity with little return. But spending even a few minutes with the text that will be the centerpiece of your design can transform it from something any web designer could slap on a page to an element that supports the rest of the design.

Written exclusively for WDD by Thursday Bram.

Do you follow these rules and others?  Please share your views below…

  • http://roonspiration.wordpress.com Claire

    great simple steps to make web type work beautifully, :) good stuff

  • http://blog.insicdesigns.com/ insic

    great post! a must read for all web designers and devs

    • elms

      You’re the best typography…ever.:-)

  • T.Blake

    Insightful..I’d like to see more about this micro/mini typography. Thanks

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  • http://dev-tips.com Drew

    This is truly a well written and well though out article. The only thing I might add is that ALA really seems to scream serif at me *not* sans-serif. Maybe it’s just me, but when I look at the screenshot, I notice a heavy use of serifed fonts, with a light use of sans serif for the content text.

    Either way, thank you very much for the inspirational post.


    • http://designi1.com designi1

      The titles are serifed fonts.. but all content show us a good clean type…

      i must agree that ill be hard to find some good serif font to use in long texts to read in the screen. the usual option its always a clean font..

  • http://www.graphikfood.com/ Zeb

    Interesting point of view ;-)

  • http://www.minimalshowcase.com/ Lee Milthorpe

    This was an interesting read.

    Mixing sans-serif fonts with serif for headlines is something I’ve been experimenting with lately and it is amazing what difference it makes to the balance of a page. I have always overlooked the text before, instead opting for the nicest looking font and using it everywhere.

  • http://www.gifdump.co.cc GiffyPop

    Hutchhouse is cool, love the retro giraffe motif.

  • http://john.onolan.org JohnONolan

    Great post – you highlighted some excellent points there. Would love to maybe see a follow up post talking about using CSS to modify web-safe fonts with things like line-height and letter spacing.

  • serjeniu

    keep them coming, keep them coming. great info!

  • http://manumohan.com Manu

    Useful tips, thank you :)

  • lowell

    Here’s something you may want to read. The article, not the quote; you’re welcome to read the quote as well.


    “What initially seemed a neat dichotomous question of serif versus sans serif has resulted in a body of research consisting of weak claims and counter-claims, and study after study with findings of “no difference”. Is it the case that more than one hundred years of research has been marred by repeated methodological flaws, or are serifs simply a typographical “red herring”? ”
    — Alex Poole

  • Geert van der Heide


  • Tom


    While the list is certainly interesting, perhaps you could use your own medicine.

    This is your site on slow internet for the first 30 seconds: http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/5634/slowsitepa3.png
    I wanted to close it after 15, because i couldn’t read the text at all. Slow internet still exists, deal with it. Change your css to load the white bg before the logo, for example?


    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Which browser are you using?

  • http://socialwayne.com Wayne sutton

    Nice post and great advice.

  • http://www.retreatsite.om Deryk Wenaus

    Thanks for the subtle and helpful tips on web typography. and great examples too.

  • http://www.bigslickdesign.com Sean

    I found these very useful.

    Especially the hierarchical font size suggestion and designing for larger text sizes in case readers are zooming in a lot.

    I tend to assume everyone can see text without issue, when in fact you are right that a large portion of web goers are baby boomers.

    In my future endeavors I’ll try to adhere to some of these guidelines…

    Thanks for the tips

  • http://raul.co.nr Raul

    very practical, but useful advice.

  • Drew

    These are some great tips… As I was reading through, I couldn’t help but notice how I do almost all of these without even thinking of it; If you take them into consideration long enough, they become second nature…

  • http://romouzesque.tumblr.com/ Romouz

    I totally agree on the second tip, wish my manager had similar feelings towards this matter; i sometime suspect he has “Loremipsumddiction”!

  • http://www.seocoach.dk/om-johnny/ Johnny Krogsgaard

    Great post, I bookmarked the site and will take all the steps (one by one) and make sure my website lives up to it. Thanks!

  • http://www.designtank.ws Chris Raymond

    Very good article, but I have to disagree with you about sans-serif. That’s like saying always use Helvetica for everything. I’d point you and readers to a great piece on the rise of Georgia, and how legible and lovely it can be….

  • Wez Maynard

    Nice set of guidelines – good introduction for new web designers everywhere!

    Not too sure about this though:

    “When it comes to laying out text on a screen, sans serif fonts are almost always the best bet, especially if you chose a font like Verdana that was designed for display on a computer screen. Serifed fonts have a higher chance of displaying poorly, becoming blurry or even pixelated.”

    These are just three of a whole bunch of sites that look fantastic with a serif weighing in:


    I would agree that verdana has its place (somewhere) – but we are truly ‘out the other side’ of a generation of web browsers that render web safe serifs badly.

    Another point i think i should make is that – it should be your project that defines your choice of font palette, not the restrictions you may feel are imposed by ‘the web’. The web is now rapidly catching other art forms as an area of artistic expression that can explored far more that simply an area that has ‘RULES’.

    (On a personal note – if i never see verdana again it will be too soon. Fontism rant over.)

  • http://www.econlink.com.ar OPaliz

    This is how this page looked for me until it was fully loaded on my navigator (60s aprox):


    You should take care of that also: visitor speed (empty cache, smaller broadband) is not the same as yours (full cache, large broadband, maybe localhost development).

  • http://www.sreekumarmenon.com sreekumar

    very useful tips!


  • serkan

    brilliant :)

  • http://www.blastam.com Alexandra

    Great list. Regarding number 9, Firefox and IE7 (not sure about Safari) now supports the size increase by making all images and text increase, rather than just text. This is very handy. I just checked out Veerle’s blog and did the size increase. It looks good :)

  • http://www.SohTanaka.com Soh Tanaka

    Thank you for this article, it was helpful :-)

  • http://www.evowebdev.com/blog/ Ray Gulick

    You’ve got to be kidding. Half of these examples are Flash-based websites. That’s not web typography: it’s print typography ported to the web.

  • http://www.evowebdev.com/blog/ Ray Gulick

    Quick followup: I agree that the XHTML/CSS-based websites on your list offer excellent examples of web typography.

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  • Josh

    So Ray, if those XHTML/CSS-based websites were ported to Flash, they wouldn’t be excellent examples of web typography?

    Get over yourself.

    • http://www.evowebdev.com/blog/ Ray Gulick

      Port XHTML/CSS to Flash? For what purpose? To make it less accessible?

      But to directly answer your question: the term “web typography” is properly applied to HTML typography. Flash typography is print typography that displays on the web. It is no more web typography than a block of text set in Photoshop and output as a gif file.

      Also, if you are going to stoop to personal attacks, the least you can do is leave a link so you’re not anonymous.

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  • Hurrary for Smart Quotes

    That Luigi Ottani site is an egregious offender of typography (not to mention using all Flash and tables for layout). You do not use straight quotes for making quotations, they are for denoting measurement in feet and inches. Use “ or ” in HTML, or spend the time to make it look pretty in Flash. A poor example, but I guess they can’t be all winners

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  • http://www.complimedia.com Montana Flynn

    Great post,

    What does everyone think of using white text on black background? Visit my site to see what I mean. Personally I like it but I’ve had others say the contrast was too much what would be a good substitute?

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Looks good. Maybe try something a bit lighter than black, like dark grey.

    • Chris

      Looks great, really clean and effective. Nice graphics! In my opinion it’s actually a loss of contrast that could cause a problem – the only place that the text loses contrast too much is in the pink “Space” theme, where you’ve used a pink font (#B546C1) on a grey background for some links; maybe just use a lighter pink instead and that will push it out a bit more?

      Also, you’ve made a really cool effect out of an old-school animated GIF – looks just like Flash but keeps the semantic markup. Good effort.


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  • monkeypox

    FYI, veerle’s last name is pieters, not duoh. duoh is the name of her company.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Corrected, thanks!

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  • http://box.mepholio.com Mepho

    Great article and great choices for sample sites.

  • http://www.thecreativeoutfit.com Patrick

    Nice article. Great for young designers to heed these tips.

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  • http://khansuhel.wordpress.com Suhel Khan

    Amazing tips. Would send it to all my designer friends..can i put this article on my blog ? with credits of course!

  • http://www.doublejdesign.co.uk Jack

    Great and useful post, Thanks a lot.

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  • http://www.logodesignguru.com LOGO DESIGN GURU

    good thoughts and insightful tips. Thanks. I agree, these are important concepts. Designers are always learning.

  • http://www.traceygrady.com/blog Tracey Grady

    Excellent post, especially your points about macro/micro typography, hierarchies and keeping your CSS solid (I would add – keep your HTML solid, too, then you’ll be able to change to any good quality CSS file seamlessly).

    Hierarchies are also beneficial for SEO, in particular heading hierarchies – , and so forth.

  • Thursday

    I’m always glad to discuss typography — and it’s wonderful to see that I’m not the only one. Thanks for all your comments!

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  • http://www.thuer.com.ar Seba

    I like this post. Typography is an important aspect of web design… and is much more than choose between Arial, Verdana, Tahoma or Lucida-Sans for a web text.

    Thanks for the tips :)

  • John Ferguson

    The biggest problem, though is that ClearType does not render small text well. Unfortunately we can’t do much about that. Even Safari on Windows doesn’t look quite ‘right’ :(

  • John Ferguson

    Oh, and never enforce fonts, except where it is part of the design. Some people like their DejaVu, Lucida and Helvetica, and don’t like web developers replacing them with Arial (shudder), or worse. For source code snippets, Stackoverflow.com enforces Monaco on Mac users, even though it uses my browser’s monospaced font setting on Windows. I hate Monaco’s every malformed loop.

  • http://www.taotedesign.com Vincent Le Pes

    This article is a great resource, I would add to stay away from Helvetica in body text. As many of you Windows users will know, it is so popular you can find it anywhere yet it is completely unreadable. I have seen how nice it looks on a Mac, kudos on them, but in Windows the characters come out the wrong sizes and it’s like trying to read through wavy glass…

  • http://www.traceygrady.com/blog Tracey Grady

    My previous comment dropped out a bit of text because it was wrapped in html brackets – by headings I meant h1, h2, h3 and so forth

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  • http://www.misty-blue.net Sarah

    Very clear, well-written article. I loved all the examples, especially Hutchhouse.

    I think Ray’s comment is an interesting one. With Flash, you can go beyond the limits of scripting type and lay out text in ways traditionally associated with print (e.g. flowing columns). The dilemma of Flash is that the textual content can’t be read by search engines and rarely is coded to be copy/pasted or highlighted in any way (which are the same problems with putting large amounts of text inside graphics). I do think that the point of #4 (macro/micro-typography) somewhat covers such coding limitations and thinking about CSS specifications like line-spacing, letter-spacing, etc. Maybe those very issues will make for a future WDD article?

  • http://giblette.com/ Joshua

    Great stuff!! Typography is key to a great website, and I totally feel that you can create better designs but ditching “Lorem Ipsum” and designing completely content based. (although sometimes this isn’t always possible)

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  • Dave

    Very helpful….unless you have clients that fancy themselves designers. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many masterpieces I’ve created that have been turned into complete turds because of the client’s so-called taste.

  • http://www.isabelgilpereira.com Isabel

    Great post like always! Keep going!

  • http://www.creativestate.com/ Matt

    While I enjoyed this post, I did have a little chuckle at Crowley Webb’s expense.

    Although I agree that they did pay attention to their typography, they weren’t as careful as they first appear. They completely missed one hidden message they are sending. The first three words I read (all capitalized): BORING AGENCY WORK.

    • http://pmadv.com Joel

      HAHAHA! The devil is in the details.

  • Jose

    wow its very usefull
    and i would like to thnk u so much ……………..

  • http://sirjorge.com/blogx sir jorge

    this is one of the better posts on the internet on this subject

  • http://emoticonfun.com Emoticon Fun

    I’ve never thought of Typography as important- thanks for opening my eyes to this matter. Bookmarked!

  • http://disordereddesign.com Krystian

    All guidelines are very usefull. As for serif fonts – I think it’s a matter of context we plan to use it. I agree we should do it very carefully but on the other hand – do not forget serif fonts exist!

  • tom_e

    lol – lorem ipsum isn’t just used to fill space. Designers use it so that their client’s don’t get caught up in the details of the copy and concentrate on the actual design comps. My 2 cents as a designer for the past 18 years. Remember – just because you bought Photoshop doesn’t automatically designate you as a “designer”. Learn the rules and science to designing before making foolish comments.

  • http://www.fanlabs.net nic

    Great post!! thank you so much!

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  • http://www.johnpash.com JP

    Everyone must scroll up and read the article linked to by lowell. I’ve heard the serif vs. san serif argument for years and wondered why do many people believe that sans is the winner for screen display. Perhaps a few years ago when 256 colour 400×600 pixel monitors were all the rage (there were no other options), serifs didn’t look so good. Not to mention clear-type, font-smoothing and all the other OS based anti-aliasing hadn’t been developed and in common use. But today, with a half-decent monitor and a half-decent design, serifed fonts are just a readable.

  • David

    Another comment to the (sans) serif discussion: When you read a lot, like you’re reading a newspaper (_every_ newspaper, at least every daily newspaper, no kid, not the playboy) for about 1/2 hour, your eyes wont be that stressed as if you were reading sans-serifed letters. This is (not only) because every letter is really unique (Comments are sans-serf: i|l I|l i|I as some examples… – show me reading “Illustration” after 1/2 hour reading without re-reading the word ;) ). Keep that in mind when you have a lot of written content whitout images or other “relaxing” elements, e.g. a programming documentation.

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  • Dan

    As someone already pointed out, A List Apart actually uses a SERIF for larger text like titles. The inverted use of the terms seems to indicate the author of this post does not sufficiently grasp the subject of typography.

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  • Matt

    the last rule is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read.

    Since when serifs fonts aren’t good for body text?

    Geez, do you ever read the newspapers? It seems to me that Garamont the most used font for body text has serifs…

    I hate when people have only experience with webdesign and they know what design is.. apparently, you don’t, or you wouldn’t post that.

    If you wanna ask this on ANY typography website, then please be my guest.

  • Sathish

    Great article…. Explaining with examples is always cool……

  • Ryan

    A couple of these items are just plain stupid. Who gave you the right to decide that serif fonts shouldn’t be used on the web, except for in headlines? Georgia comes to mind as a particularly readable serif font at many sizes and on multiple browsers. Even a cursory knowledge of typography would have helped you realize that serif fonts are more legible than sans serif, and when the font is translated for screen correctly, this continues to be the case.

    Second, I can’t believe I’m reading that you are promoting the use of inch marks over quotes. This is completely unacceptable. Perhaps a better tip would have been how to use curly quotes using CSS and without images:


  • Aaron

    nice article, this article add my known in designer…. thank’s

  • http://www.scottdylan.net Scott Dylan

    Great article, am now following you on twitter.

    Scott Dylan

  • Retroshift

    Nice article, but I’d like to comment that text is never outlined. To me a text in block, nicely paragraphed is so much better than a non-outlined text. It’s the same on paper. To me, this is something that shouldn’t be overseen.

  • http://www.sandeepmalireddy.com Sandeep Malireddy

    Hi there.. that’s incredible tips for any designer. absolutely love it.

  • http://www.gabrieldimartino.com Gabriel


  • http://www.teambuildersearch.com Mark Whitman

    This is a must read for every web designer and designer who aspires to be a web designer. Would also be helpful for web designers if the brand planners understood these basic guidelines.

  • http://www.medienlab.de Mike

    I really like this page and the article is also good.

  • http://www.reknova.de michael sommer

    great article everytime good post on this page.

  • http://kysi2.com Simon Ashley

    Awesome. Thanks for this.

  • http://www.seocomplete.de Thomas Maier

    I like this post, thx!

  • http://sbssinavi2009.blogspot.com/ sbs sonuçları

    Thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work.

  • http://twitter.com/saurabhshah saurabh shah

    Excellent post ! must read to all Web geeks….

  • http://burojuma.nl Martijn

    Awesome read… Knew most of the sites though, nice to have some understandings about them now.

  • http://www.iynque.com Andrew Williams

    I have to agree with several of the other commenters. Using inch marks where you should be using quotes is not okay. Any typographer can tell you that there is no such thing as straight quotes. They are inch marks. Not quote marks. Using inch marks instead is bad typography, just like using hyphens where you should be using an en dash or an em dash. If your intent is precise typography, it matters, and you should not be writing an article on what every designer should know if you do not understand this.

    Apart from that, I really enjoyed this article. Obviously, there is some debate about (sans) serifs, but I think you’re at least on the preferable side. I think sans-serif looks better on the web and is easy to read in all cases, as opposed to serif which, in some cases, can get ugly and difficult. Serif typefaces can be quite nice, but if there’s a chance it’s just going to get ugly, it’s preferable to avoid that chance and just go with sans-serif for large amounts of text.

    I especially like point number one! Nothing stylistic or technical, just an obvious step that a lot of designers skip. For example, in point 3 where you write, “Every site needs a well developed hierarchy: indicators of where to start to start reading and how to proceed.” …oops! Spell check won’t get that one for you!

    Point number two is good as well. Greeking is useful in macrotypography (that term is new to me), but it’s a good idea to get the real thing early in the design process. I know I’ve done work that will crumble and have to be rebuilt after the change from dummy text to real copy is made. Line lengths change and the general weight of blocks of text can be dramatically different in a subtle design that can’t handle it.

  • http://www.web-netz.de/ Peter Adwords

    Excellent post ! must read to all Web geeks….

  • http://www.flort.net Sohbet Muhabbet

    Nice post and great advice.

  • http://www.seotech.de Frank Liebeskind

    Thanks for the tips

  • http://www.atozsolution.com website design nyc

    your post is helpful and informative

  • http://www.t-shirt-bedrucken24.de/ Raffael

    Really interesting points! There were some I didn´t think of. Thanks for these insights.

  • http://www.bcm-websolutions.de/de/suchmaschinenoptimierung-stuttgart.html Seo Stuttgart

    I love it and I also love your website design ;) Nice Job!

  • http://www.amacdizayn.com/webtasarim web tasarımı

    i love seo and join this race

  • http://www.seo-handbuch.de Dennis

    Hi there!

    Thank you for this guide – the designs are really looking fantastic :)


  • http://www.wellenreiter-consult.de seo dortmund

    to be honest: i came here for seo, but i found myself actually reading your post. Great article, i learned a lot. thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.iccellphone.com/ Avery

    nice job,thank you for your collection.

  • http://www.kreativunion.de Werbeagentur Coburg

    wow, th isis very usefull stuff!
    and i would like to thank u so much ……………..

  • http://www.suchmaschinen-optimierung-nord.de Webdesign Kiel

    Thanks for your very helpful useful and informative post!

  • http://shirtomator.com Tanja Schonsen

    Great article, thx

  • http://radyolar.zogizo.com radyo dinle

    I like this post. Useful tips! thanks.

  • http://www.junggesellenabschied.com Junggesellinnenabschied

    Very good job, thank you for this set.

  • http://www.seo247.de Peter

    wonderfull article brilliant.

  • http://www.wandtattoos-wandaufkleber.com Wandtattoos

    helpful and useful, thx for this article.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/kombizz/sets/ kombizz

    nice one

  • http://www.vvaholdorf.de/ Holdorf

    very nice article

  • http://www.trustmedianetworks.com Andre

    good job! thanx a lot!

  • http://www.shirtsbedrucken.de Mike

    Nice article. Most guidelines are very useful. oOne of the better posts on the internet :)



  • http://www.nordsee-suche.de Tina

    great tips – thx a lot.

  • http://www.nordsee-suche.de/ reporttheweb

    Thanks for this cool Tipps and Links .

  • http://www.pitasarim.com.tr Zuhal

    Hi … I love it and I also love your website design .. Nice !

  • http://www.meineschoenheit.info Rahel

    wonderfull brilliant article

  • http://www.onlineforextrading.de s.holstens

    yes this is a cool and nice Design

  • http://www.junggesellenabschied.shirtinator.net JGA

    very special, thx.

  • http://www.logodesignblock.com bill adam

    hey buddy thanks for sharing and it help me a lot i will keep these rules in mind while designing

  • http://www.izmirciceksiparisi.net izmir ciek

    wooooww .. Thanks for this cool Tipps .. cool

  • http://www.maquinastudio.com Cristian @ Maquina Studio

    Great examples. I’m all for changing things a bit and aligning left instead of centering.

  • http://www.evdenevenakliyatl.com Evden Eve Nakliyat

    Hi .. Excellent post ! .. ;)

  • http://www.tekden.com.tr tim

    thanks good post

  • http://www.noxleywebdesigns.com Marcus

    Great Job!

  • http://www.acwe.co.uk renduh

    I always think that you can get a good idea about how good a designer is by his or her use of typography. Just a couple of lines of plain text will tell you how concerned with the details that designer is.

    Also thought the ‘Dump Lorem ipsum as soon as possible’ tip was great. I’ve suffered because of using Lorem ipsum on sites way into the development time. I find Lorem ipsum has some magical property that makes it look a lot nicer than plain old dirty English :)

    Anyway, great post and keep you the sterling work.

  • http://www.shirtcreator24.de Jürgen

    Great article and very useful Tips. Big thanks :)

  • http://www.honeytechblog.com Honey Singh

    The rules described by you are good.
    You can include many more basics of the typography rules like
    1- Try to avoid describing font-family in every second classes and id’s.
    2- Maintain the appropriate proportion between headings. “Not too big nor too small”.
    3- Try to use web safe fonts else use images instead.
    4- The fonts color used on different backgrounds should not be too much of contrast. for example on #00000 background instead of using #fffff try to use lighter shades of #ccc.

    Typography really change the the look of web pages and i would appreciate the points discussed by you.

  • http://www.shopfordesigns.com Logo Design

    We almost always forget the power of CSS and how effectively it can be used. It has been dealt in an excellent way in this article. Also we need to take a close look at text size and background colour. Test it in all kinds of browsers and then release it.

    Very nice writeup. Kudos!

  • http://www.dispo-kredit-schufafrei.de Kredit

    great resource, lot of information…good stuff!

  • http://www.mywandtattoo.de/ Wandaufkleber

    Great Web Typography Rulesmany thanks MJ

  • http://www.evturnakliye.com evden eve nakliyat

    feel now when looking at them they see great designs like these, and head on out and start searching for tutorials, ideas, and they find this page. If you already have one of the programs that so many of us like to use to make out designs such as Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more why not try to see what you can come up with. Keep the list growing as it is one list I visit to see the updates. BRAVO Designers!

  • http://www.designfactory24.com Wandtattoo

    It´s a great step by step for designers like me. Thank a lot!

  • http://www.fixhediye.net doğum günü hediyeleri

    thanks good post

  • http://www.duzcetv.tk duzce

    thanks thanks thank you :)

  • http://www.seoberatung.net Erfolgreiche Suchmaschinenoptimierung

    Great Article and resource..Thank you

  • http://www.schnaeppchenfuchs.com/gutscheine Gutschein

    Great Article, thanks.

  • http://www.onlinevideoizle.org/ izle

    Great examples. I’m all for changing things a bit and aligning left instead of centering.

  • http://www.antekklima.com klima

    thank you very much about works.

  • http://www.priyankarmukherjee.com web designer

    Hi klima… I didnt get what you wanted to mean in your comment. I have been reading and following all the articles of this post too…. Pls explain… what is “thank you very much about works.”

  • http://www.techsource.in Database Application development in India

    The rules you described are great!!!

    Would look forward to more such rules…

  • http://www.xicom.biz Website Development Company

    Great article and very useful tips … Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.harz-ferienwohnung-ferienhaus.de Harz

    Very usefull article. Saved it to my important seeo-files

    friendly regards
    Peter Harz

  • http://www.fireseller.de Tischkamin

    Awesome read… Knew most of the sites though, nice to have some understandings about them now.

  • http://www.chotrul.com/design/design-showcase.html Chotrul Web Design

    Centered text in web designs? Goodness me, I don’t know where to start! I’m sure most designers have had the CEO of a client who thinks he’s a designer, and the very first thing you see is …… all the text is centred (or double justified!) …. tough one.

  • http://www.marseo.de Maik Rostock


    yes, very nice. But my english is’n so good. If anyone can translate it in German, better for me. :(

    So i understand only a litle bit, but thank. great work!

  • http://www.techsource.in Website Application Development in India

    Great site. A must for all internet professionals.

  • http://shirtomator.com/junggesellenabschied/ Junggesellenabschied

    Thanks for the subtle and helpful tips on web typography. and great examples too.

  • http://www.ufukaytas.com web site tasarımı

    great post…

  • http://www.hitcanavari.com besmele

    a great site. I too enjoy. I wish you success

  • http://www.redesignyourbiz.com/ maverick

    a really useful article. very important to pay attention on text, which is most often treated treated as something apart from the overall page design.

  • http://lidapazarlama.com lida

    Interesting point of view

  • Brant

    Baloney ! The last thing anyone wants to do is sort through text. ( That’s what books are for)
    Put buttons that mimic what the viewer wants to do next.
    Skip the Flash. Skip the intro page. Edit your site so that from across a room a person could
    navigate it.
    All these sites you show remind me of Windows 95 compared with OSX.
    It’s IS all about speed and getting what you want to accomplish, at the site, done in as few clicks as possible and then get the heck out and on to your next task elsewhere.
    After they leave they will remember how painless your site interface was and associate good feelings with it. Remember we look at thousands of these me-too ‘polished’ sites every week. Just get to the point and stop trying to ‘decorate’. It’s like walking into someones home and they obviously want you to be impressed with their taste or sit you down to start selling Amway when all you wanted to do was say “hi” drop off or pick up a package and get the F*** out of there ( and back to reality ).

  • http://www.richardgeorges.com Richard Georges

    Very helpful. I implement some of these things already, but it’s always good to see these tenets collected and spelt out in one place.

  • http://deviantart.curseofthemoon.com Israel

    GReat post! I loved the part of Micro and Macro Typography, is it an extract of Wlli Kunz book, right?

  • http://www.sacekimestetik.com saç ekimi

    Very nices.

  • me

    How can you possibly say “Dump Lorem ipsum as soon as possible”?
    Ofcourse it’s always better to use real text instead of dummy text, but do you have any clue about how many clients don’t have any text at the start of a design-project? Or how many hours I’ve spend correcting a clients feedback on their own typo’s instead of fixing their design?

    Giving one example in which the text was a basic part of the design is bullocks. There is not a single big corporate site in which content-text decides where to put elements. Above that, the dropcaps in your example are not designed, they’re easily achievable through css and not some special font. Go and read up on lorem ipsum and it’s goal in design!

  • Kresna

    So this is the determined stuff i could learn .. .

  • soully

    There is some genuinely great advice here but I think you’re being overlay harsh in #10, Georgia is a very worthy body-text font.

  • http://www.dannyfoo.com/blog Danny Foo

    One of the basics of them all is; watch the size.

    There are still website/Flash designers who use typeface sizes which are considerably small today. As monitors become larger with higher resolutions, we end up with more space to fill so a reader is comfortable when they read.

    Well, that’s my 2 cents. :)

  • http://blog.stephenemlund.com Stephen Emlund

    Wow, what a great selection of things to remember when wrangling type on websites. I have never thought about number four (Macro vs Micro Type) in the way you express it, but that definitely is a good way to think about type. So often I will be designing a website and look at it at 50% so I can get the overall picture, and I stop short of zooming in and checking kerning/leading and quality of the ‘micro’ typography.

    I’m going to start giving my typography a second-look!

  • http://jonraasch.com Jon Raasch

    On the whole a good roundup, but some of this advice seems pretty antiquated – especially the stuff about increasing font-size….Most browsers these days expand the page universally rather than just the font size. I wonder how you got that screenshot….Firefox 2? Safari 3?

  • http://www.monteurzimmer.de Monteurzimmer-Chris

    really like the one with the giraffe :)
    good examples!

  • http://twitter.com/robinrath Robin Rath

    This is a great post on typography, a good read for designers and developers alike. I am impressed with some of these sites as well, good examples of typography.

  • http://blog.shaihalov.ru/ Max

    now i know =)

  • http://michael-leigh.com Michael

    great article, a lot of good tips.

  • http://www.printnord.de Jens Druckkopf

    they are also useful

  • http://webdesign.marseo.de Micha H.

    Thanks for this great work.

  • http://www.cizgifilmclub.com çizgi film izle

    This is a great post on typography, a good read for designers and developers alike. I am impressed with some of these sites as well, good examples of typography.

  • Vish

    Really good 1,
    every designer should really know this things while design a single design also.
    Much appreciated..

  • http://www.kenthaliyikama.com Halı Yıkama

    i like the most “Ditch the centered text”.i will do it

  • http://www.karabayir.com.tr Oto Lastik

    i am not designer but i love the article

  • http://www.colakoglunakliyat.net Nakliyat

    One of the basics of them all is; Dump Lorem ipsum as soon as possible.

  • http://www.formaimalat.com Forma

    only 10 rules uhuh??

  • http://www.sapkaci.org Şapka İmalat

    my favorite point ‘Pay attention to both macro and micro typography’

  • http://www.maltepenakliyat.com Evden Eve Taşımacılık

    thanks for informations

  • http://www.schwarzenbek-info.de Sachsenwald

    Great work.Thanks

  • http://www.thailand-invest.com Thailand

    WOWWW… I like the Design and Colors of this Site. Really Great!

  • http://onlinedesignbureau.com/blog Lorenz

    In web design, the biggest issues I see are related to not properly showing hierarchy through font-size and font-styling.

    Asking a web designer to spend a lot of time on typography does increase the cost associated with creating the look for your website. Not all businesses are able to pay close attention to issues like typography, but they should pay attention to atleast two main issues:

    – as mentioned: create a clear hierarchy for their content through typgraphy.
    – use CSS, so that when design updates come to be executed, they can be executed site-wide with one single update.

  • http://www.138le.com/ 招聘销售

    use CSS, so that when design updates come to be executed

  • http://www.acipen.com pim

    There are a great great visual quality of your site

  • http://www.wandtasie.de wandtasie

    Thanks, good an helpfull stuff.

  • http://pollyfolio.com/ Polly

    Nice and useful article! And with the examples – just perfect. Thanks a bunch!

  • http://www.joe-is-cool.com Joe Pratt


  • http://onlinemarketingworkshops.org/ Vanessa

    Awesome tips. Keep’em coming.

  • http://www.evdenevenakliyatsec.com doruk

    Door To Door Transport industry with each passing day as new and innovative to meet these new companies to the sector has stepped. In this context, the newly established companies is a presentation tool for Door To Door Transport Select a company as your guide, transportation companies see fit to open our guide, we

  • http://www.ocularharmony.com Montreal Web Design

    Thanks for the tips. I applied the hierarchy tip to my latest design, using full hand-drawn lettering for the header to break the conservative grid-based minimal design. Clean designs + typography is the key!

  • http://www.reisen-mit-lastminute.de/ Lisa X.

    I´m thinking of doing my won little Homepage and I´m thankfull for Tipps like this.

  • http://www.memoryinternational.de/ Sven

    Thx realy nice tips

    thx for the post.

  • http://www.akku-online.net/ Brad

    Brilliant Post.
    It is always amazing on what kind of homepages you land, if you are surfing through the net.

    Greetz :)

  • http://www.world-of-sports.net/ Benjamin

    great stuff
    realy thankfull it’s interesting

  • http://www.muellers-ferien.de/ William

    In my Freetime I´m a kind of Designer.
    These Tipps are very helpfull specialy if your Knowledge isn´t that big.

  • http://www.erneuerbare-energiequellen.info/ Bulb

    Brilliant One.

  • http://www.michaelladdie.co.uk michaell4


    I know this post is old now, but with regards to point 9, at the time of writing this 19 March 2010, I feel that this point is now irrelevant.
    Most modern browser now zoom the the entire website, which as no affect on the size of type etc, essentially is like bringing a piece of paper closer to your face when you can’t read it.
    So is it worth the time to “Plan for your text to get larger”? when nowadays like I said zoom the entire page?

    Other than that little rant, the rest of the post is excellent.

  • http://www.bursahoteller.com Bursa Otel Hotel

    I guess there’s always bigger and better territory to which to aspire. I bet someone could write a funny post comparing bloggers to toddlers.

  • http://www.damenunterwaesche24.de Alex

    It is an interesting article.

  • http://www.lounge-moebel.eu Hermann

    It is interesting to know what things a webdesigner should know.

  • http://www.colakogluevdenevenakliye.com nakliye

    very nice desing very good

  • http://www.usdollarkurs.de/goldpreis.html Goldpreis

    Ohh very nice designs, thanks for post.

  • http://www.trgy.org trgylcnky@gmail.com

    Thank you great posts.

  • http://www.gebzevipnakliyat.com Gebze Nakliyat

    The PSP tennis court is genius!
    All of these are great!
    Ignore the negative comments students!
    It’s the man trying to put you down.
    They are just bitter and jealous old art directors that never had the talent to do as you did.
    Unfortunately, you may have to work for one of those types when you get a job.
    Rage on regardless:)

  • http://pollyfolio.com/ Polly

    Hey I just remembered something… Number 10 says that sans serif fonts are easier to read…

    One of my teachers once said to me exactly the opposite – that the serif fonts are easier to read. Something about the serifs “leading” the eye through the text, from left to right. The guy is pretty narrow-minded and I don’t really like his teaching methods. So I can easily ignore everything that he says and not take it for the truth, but…

    I admit, I’m not very good with typography. What do you guys think?

  • http://www.shirts-selbst-bedrucken.de Henning

    “Old” article, but very useful.

  • http://46blog.com 46blog

    Very Good site. A must for all internet professionals.

  • http://www.disbeyazlatma.net diş beyazlatma

    thank you forrever posted

  • http://www.webtasarimit.com caner

    Thank you great posts

  • http://www.escortbayanlarresimli.com escort bayanlar

    thanks for your sharing.

  • http://www.kameradunyasi.net/ güvenlik kamerası

    ey I just remembered something… Number 10 says that sans serif fonts are easier to read…
    One of my teachers once said to me exactly the opposite – that the serif fonts are easier to read. Something about the serifs “leading” the eye through the text, from left to right. The guy is pretty narrow-minded and I don’t really like his teaching methods. So I can easily ignore everything that he says and not take it for the truth, but…
    I admit, I’m not very good with typography. What do you guys think?

  • http://www.biti-media.de Digitalkamera


    brillant Designing and Colors. Keep up :)
    Many regards from Germany

  • http://www.karabayir.com.tr/ Selahattin


  • http://www.ozoneeleven.com/ Aisha

    Thank you very much, I love such a helpful post on !

  • http://senetlerihisse.blogcu.com hisse senetleri

    Photoshop, Illustrator, and more why not try to see what you can come up with. Keep the list growing as it is one list I visit to see the updates. BRAVO Designers!

  • http://www.evdenevenakliyatnakliye.org/ evden eve

    Hi .. Thank you very much, I love such a helpful post on ! .. ;)

  • http://www.bodenmais-blog.de Bodenmais

    Great article, i hope i can follow all of that instructions when builduing a new website ;-)

  • http://www.reknova.de Mark

    One of my teachers once said to me exactly the opposite – that the serif fonts are easier to read. Something about the serifs “leading” the eye through the text, from left to right.

  • http://www.isitmecihazi.org işitme cihazı


  • http://www.tutunculerevdeneve.com gaziantep evden eve taşımacılık


  • http://www.reknova.de Sascha Beele

    Thank you great article, i’ll link it to my blog.

  • http://www.yedolo.com yedolo

    Thank you for this Website the designs are really looking fantastic

  • http://www.cagdasnakliye.com fatih

    Keep the list growing as it is one list I visit to see the updates. thanks

  • http://www.xava.de Media

    Best designs! Thanks for the list!

  • http://aspirinc.co.cc aspirinc

    One of my teachers once said to me exactly the opposite – that the serif fonts are easier to read. Something about the serifs “leading” the eye through the text, from left to right.

  • http://www.evdenevenakliyatnakliye.org evden eve

    Hi .. this is very good idea! I love it! and I want it!

  • http://petewilliams.info Pete Williams

    Well I gave up on this article on about the second line where you talk about what ‘makes this site (jonesingfor.com) really work’ – that site doesn’t work at all!

    It’s horrendous! Would love to know what the bounce rate on that god-awful cryptic splash page – if any visitors actually wait past the ominous ‘loading’ screen that is…

    Perhaps not the best choice of example.

  • http://www.feuerwehr-spiele.com Feuerwehrspiele

    Very nice article!

  • http://www.rollos-news.de Dennis

    I always optimize my css code like this.

  • http://www.alutech.de/ Olli

    Thanks for this post! Hope you will always update it.

  • http://markisen24.net/ Kelly

    Thanks for these advices! Will keep them in my mind :)

  • http://www.linsenplatz.de/ Richard

    I always follow these rules when i’m designing something.

  • http://www.webgenerator.nl Chris

    Inspiring! Thursday, you mention centering text as “not done”. How about filling out text online? (I’m not sure that’s the right term, but what I mean is: text aligned both left and right).

  • http://www.webgenerator.nl Chris

    PS: I looked it up, the right term is “Justify” I believe.

  • http://www.qhlogodesignguru.com Jhon Frank

    Great post – which has raised some excellent points there. Might want to see the post talk about the track change CSS web safe fonts for things like line height and letter spacing.

  • http://cizgifilmi.gen.tr çizgi film izle

    Inspiring! Thursday, you mention centering text as “not done”. How about filling out text online?

  • http://www.iyioyunlar.org oyun oyna

    Thanks for these advices! Will keep them in my mind :)

  • http://www.zweipunkt-marketing.de Webdesigner

    Very impressive, a good compilation about typography in the web. Should be in a cheat-sheet or something, that you have it always in front of you when you are designing a website. Good work!

  • http://www.ceb-webdesign.de Kadir

    Great article! Thank you.

  • http://www.solar-wind-bio.de/ Philip Kaie

    Nice Post. Thanks. From now on, I keep more attention to my typo.

  • http://www.fantasticnails.de/UV_Farbgel_Nr73.html Farbgel

    It was fun and interesting to read this article. Thank youu!!

  • http://www.trauringstudio-berlin.de/ Walter

    Thanks. I didn’t know about these things. I going to update my site according to this.

  • http://www.homeflair.info/ Waseem

    Awesome. These tips are awesome. I was stupid to didn’t realize this myself.

  • http://www.topfit24.com Risa

    Thanks for the great tips. It is a awesome guide.

  • http://www.fantasticnails.de Tana

    These tips helped me a lot. Thank you very much.

  • http://www.webtasarimit.com web tasarımı

    Great article! Thank you.

  • http://www.jalousie-laden.de/ Richard

    They are obvious. Nonetheless thanks for your article.

  • http://www.goldstore24.com Linda

    Great guide. Many thanks to you.

  • http://www.junggesellinnenabschied.net Junggesellinnenabschied

    I like this artikel. It helps me a lot to understand. I think you are absolutly right – th only thing counts is text.

  • http://www.kameraguvenliksistemi.com kamera

    Thanks for usefull information

  • http://www.cana.com.tr organizasyon

    a great share. save this page and always will be. health care into your hands. Thank you.

  • http://www.alutech.de Gert

    Awesome. Thanks for it.

  • http://www.tedavinet.com tedavi

    Looking forward to that, will be Interesting

  • http://www.yazicitoner.com toner

    All of these are great!
    Ignore the negative comments students!
    It’s the man trying to put you down.
    They are just bitter and jealous old art directors that never had the talent to do as you did.

  • http://www.alarmkameraguvenlik.com güvenlik kamerası

    Thanks for great article ill just apply that usefull information

  • http://www.duzcem.net düzce haber

    only 10 rules uhuh??

  • http://www.versicherung-tarif-vergleichen.de Vergleich

    Very useful article, thanks a lot.

  • http://1milyoncanliparakazan.com merve

    Thank you very much, very good post

  • http://www.christrio-germany.com Nagelstudio Berlin

    That was great. Thanks guy

  • http://www.owcpress.com mela

    Thanks for great article ill just apply that usefull information

  • mark

    Decent article, but if you’re a designer and don’t know at least half of this, guess what? You’re not a designer (yet).

    Also, the “show a preference for sans serif” bit is pretty ridiculous. Different situations call for different kinds of type, and using sans serif fonts for body copy by default is rather silly.

  • http://www.yamansoft.com web tasarımı

    Excellent tips .I really appreciate all these points, and I agree completely…

  • http://www.cenesiz.net okey

    Also, the “show a preference for sans serif” bit is pretty ridiculous. Different situations call for different kinds of type, and using sans serif fonts for body copy by default is rather silly.

  • http://www.istanbulevdeneve.us evdeneve

    has resulted in a body of research consisting of weak claims and counter-claims, and study after study with findings of “no difference

  • http://shenyang.jinti.com/fangchan 沈阳二手房

    Also, the “show a preference for sans serif” bit is pretty ridiculous. Different situations call for different kinds of type, and using sans serif fonts for body copy by default is rather silly.

  • http://www.eins-zu-null.com internet echos

    very nice article, thx a lot. saved my day :)

  • http://look-fresh.de Ecco

    Great post!! thank you.

  • http://www.reitersprueche.de/ Reitersprüche

    Useful tips, thank you

  • http://www.sumasearch.de/ sumasearch

    Never saw such a great blog !

  • http://www.aufpuschen.de Lederpuschen

    Very good hints to get easy great results. I am not a web-desigern – so I have never learned to create cool styles. But with good information like this, semi-profs are able to reach good results. Thanks therefor! Sorry for my bad english – my german is better ;o)
    Kind regards from Germany

  • Sam

    I’d really love to read this article and take full advantage from it, however, in FF 3.6.13 with JS fully enabled, I can’t view any of your examples, and the page is stuck in a “loading” pattern for 30 minutes now.

    I’m not sure why JS is necessary to display so much of this page, but apparently it isn’t working correctly. What a shame. It looks like a useful article.

  • http://www.vekta.co.uk Vekta

    Great post, thanks for sharing! Despite being over 2 years old, it’s still valid.