75+ type driven sites

Paddi Macdonnell.
January 26, 2017
75+ type driven sites.
When we talk about the visual elements of a website, we are usually referring to images: photos, illustrations, icons, possibly the UI. What we tend to forget is that text is visual too. It is, after all, the visual representation of the spoken word. And text, just like images, can be beautiful or ugly, intriguing or dull, striking or bland, in appearance. The majority of sites out there use purely functional text. In other words, even though the typography might be passable, and the text readable, it is there to be read; any visual interest is picked up by images. However, there are some, rather brave, designers who use type as content and visual interest, and have kept images to bare minimum, or even done away with them altogether. I say brave because it is a difficult approach to get ‘right’, as it pushes users out of their comfort zone and it can produce a very bold, stark look. [pullquote]some, rather brave, designers use type as content and visual interest[/pullquote] This approach is not simply a case of ditching the use of any images and filling the space up with lots of text. That would be visually off putting, really pretty boring, and definitely not user-friendly. For this style to work, less is definitely more with each text element being very carefully placed on the screen. The type tends to be display, often oversized, although some sites do use body type in the same way, to good effect. In fact, it could be argued that there are two distinct sub genres: large, display type with a more stylish feel and small body type with a very basic, bare bones feel. Black on white or white on black is fairly standard, but in places color is used to add an extra dimension. In some of these sites, images appear on interaction, or a text animation is triggered to dramatic effect. With many of these examples, a screen shot cannot do them justice, they have to be experienced, and played with. The obvious examples of text only sites are type collections, and while some might say that they shouldn’t count here I feel they are worth including if they present their content well and in a visually engaging way. (Not all font sites do.) What stood out to me when putting together this collection is that the majority of sites embracing this approach tend to be for designers/design agencies, or others in creative fields (although there are some notable exceptions, like the NZ cleaners, or the Irish fish & chip shop). Perhaps this is because there is an urge to push the boundaries which usually has to be resisted when producing work for clients, whereas we don’t feel the need to play it safe when it’s about ourselves. The key here is creativity and confidence, it is a bold style that makes a very strong statement. There is no middle ground with this approach; when it misses it misses by a mile, but when it works it really works. Enjoy!

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Minnix

minnix

Jessica Strelioff

strelioff

Elbow

elbowsydney

Context

usecontext

HTML arrows

htmlarrows

Avery review

averyreview

Edmundo

edmundojr

Graham Hicks

grahamhicks

Emile Sadria

emilesadria

Wade Garret

wadegarrett

Greater than or equal to

greaterthanorequalto

Dua

dua

Jane Smith Agency

janesmithagency

Triebwerk

triebwerk

Soulwire

soulwire

Playground paris

playgroundparis

Bronze

bronzeformat

Design census

designcensus

VSCO

vsco

TGW studio

tgw

b14

b14

Durimel

durimel

Jason Briscoe

jasonbriscoe

RSQ

rsq

Le top

letop

Other

otherstudio

Aku

aku

This is alcohol

thisisalcohol

East room

eastroom

Alejandro Matamala

matamala

Megs tailoring

megstailoring

Stemme

stemme

Hej

hej

Fictive kin

fictivekin

Geordie Wood

geordiewood

Oak

oak

At your request

atyourrequest

Camelot typefaces

camelottypefaces

Central St. Martins 2016 show

csmpostgradart

Yields

yields

The Lobster movie

thelobstermovie

MaisonNue

maisonnue

Grano

grano

Duezero

duezero

Second cousins studio

secondcousins

David Prati

davidprati

Camp quiet

campquiet

Maximillion McLaughlin

maxmclau

Valentino Borghesi

valentinoborghesi

Arthur Collin

arthurcollin

Agenzia indipendente diricerca

agenziaindipendentediricerca

Justin Parra

justinparra

Eugene Lee

eugjlee

Love and money

loveandmoney

Maxine Tsang

maxinetsang

San Francisco Coffee Finder

sfcoffeefinder

Bloomberg design conference 2016

bloomberg

Code united

codeunited

Superset

superset

Giorgio Favotto

favotto

Neobred

neobred

Grafik

grafik

Fish shop

fishshop

Mediumextrabold

mediumextrabold

Design jobs board

designjobsboard

Arc

thisisarc

ZZ

zzis

Pierre

pierregraphics

Vincent Tavano

tavanovincent

Hawraf

hawraf

2016 promo

2016promo

Danilo Campos

danilocampos

Hours after

hoursafter

Rebecca Lloyd Evans

rebeccalloydevans

R-typography

rtypography

Eli Rousso

elirousso

Plane site

planesite

Frere-Jones type

frerejones

Paddi MacDonnell

Paddi MacDonnell is a designer and entrepreneur from Northern Ireland, follow her on Twitter.

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