Why Bloggers Need To Understand Typography

Is it so hard to understand typography? To the uninitiated, it may appear to be something that's complex and hard to master.

Although typography is regarded as an art, its purpose is utilitarian. The correct usage of typography can be learned just like any other art or craft.

Understanding typography is not that difficult to do, because it only takes some common sense to grasp that understanding. It's all about good judgment and taste as well.

The effective use of typography is all about communication. That's right, effective visual communication.

Are you fully aware that typography if used correctly can enhance the appearance of your blog and increase readability?

Today, with millions of people writing on blogs or websites, there's more reasons to acquire some understanding of typography.

Applying typography correctly will help your site to be more readily accepted by readers. Make it easy on the reader's eye when he or she reads your article.

I've seen blogs that don't regard typography as an important visual element in their site makeup. This is probably due to a lack of understanding in the use of typography.

Typographic Literacy

A blogger is a publisher. And, as in the traditional world of publishing, bloggers need to acquire "typographic literacy." They have to be type savvy.

I've seen many blogs with good content. These blogs have well-written articles but they seldom break blocks of text into more palatable and readable paragraphs.

This hampers smooth reading. It creates a kind of visual 'torture' for the reader.

A huge chunk of paragraph is not easy on the eye and is more likely to discourage the reader. It's even worst when text are italicized. Ideally, each paragraph should comprise from one to three sentences only. Just imagine if you have been staring at the computer screen for a long while, would you find it easy to read that huge chunk of text? Italicized, like this paragraph you are reading?

Try putting this article together without any paragraphs or spacing and you'll see how difficult it is to read.

Take a look at most newspapers where readers today are not expected to linger over thick paragraphs. You can see editors break up sentences neatly into digestible portions, enabling the reader to read or scan through the text easily.

Today's newspaper readers are, by and large, 'scanners,' according to studies, and so are most blog readers.

Yes, legibility, compactness and comprehension are necessities of typography

It's all about good design and that calls for breaking long items into smaller, friendly, non-threatening, bite-size pieces of text.

Good typography usage involves knowing the different typographic styles like uppercase and lower case, roman and italic, regular and bold.

You must also be aware of indentation, margins, word division, paragraph spacing, line breaks, and font sizes.

Typefaces are classified into two types - serif and sans serif.

For example, the Georgia font is a serif typeface.

And the Verdana font is a sans serif typeface.

Knowing your type will help to set the tone of your publication and hold it together.

Another key ingredient in typography usage involves adding contrast between elements on a page. Changes in typography can be very effective in creating contrast.

In some cases, you can create a distinct identity when visuals are replaced by contrasting typefaces and type sizes to distinguish key phrases or words from less important elements.

Why? When every type on a page "shouts", it's hard to pay attention to what each one is trying to say. There'll be too much noise. It's typographic cacophony!

Contrast also comes from the skilful use of white space to highlight headings and visuals. When it's done in the right manner, contrast adds tension and interest to a page.

What do you think? Does it make sense to understand typography? - Markk

Image credit: sandbaum