75+ Type Driven Sites

By Paddi MacDonnell Posted Jan. 26, 2017 Reading time: 2 minutes

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.

some, rather brave, designers use type as content and visual interest

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
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