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Best UX practices for line spacing

The combination of Georgia and Verdana left share similar values that create a harmonious pairing. Compare that to the pairing of Baskerville and Impact right where the heavy weight of Impact vastly overshadows its counterpart. The size of your text has a huge impact on the experience of reading something on screen:. Tip: Selecting font size can be daunting.


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But there is a technique that can help you — a modular scale. A modular scale is a sequence of values that can be applied to determine the size of your text styles in a harmonious way. You first choose a ratio — For example, the golden mean Then you pick the base size of your text, for example, 16px. After that, you multiply to get the sequential numbers: 16px, 26px, 42px, 68px, px.

You can use a tool like Gridlover to find a proper font size for different scale ratios. In the Western world, type is read top to bottom and left to right. By justifying type left, you make the text easier to read. The eye is able to find the edge and this makes reading the copy much easier: A consistent left vertical edge assists readers by providing a place for the eye to return to after finishing each horizontal line.

With the growing popularity of type design, the sea of typefaces from which to choose gets bigger each year. Try to avoid fonts that use cursive script, such as Vivaldi in the example below : although they are beautiful, they are difficult to read. Legibility is a measure of how easy it is to distinguish one letter from another in a particular typeface.

However, not all typefaces are created with legibility as a primary design function.

Typographic Design Patterns And Best Practices — Smashing Magazine

You need to avoid these kinds of fonts because people will have problems reading them on small displays. Line length is the horizontal distance of a block of text. Unfortunately, long lines are probably one of the most common design problem on the web. Having the right amount of characters on each line is key to the comfortable reading of your text.

This line length has a positive impact on reading rhythm: Our mind is energized when jumping to the next line as long as it not so frequent. A rule of thumb for mobile typography is to stick to 30—40 characters per line line length for narrow columns of text in newspapers or magazines.

Typography terminology

Below is an example of two sites viewed on a mobile device. The first one uses 50—75 characters per line optimum number of characters per line for print and desktop , while the second one uses the optimal 30—40 characters. In web design, you can achieve an optimal number of characters per line by restricting the width of your text blocks using em or pixels.

As mentioned by Miles Tinker , in his landmark work, Legibility of Print, all-capital print greatly retards the speed of scanning and reading in comparison with lower-case type. A rag is the edge of a block of text. Ragged right text has an additional benefit for mobile users.

A lot of factors can distract a person from reading such as an incoming call. A rag creates a random shape down the right-hand column that helps the eye easily relocate its last position and re-engage with text copy. Typography is all about spacing. In typography, we have a special term for the spacing between two lines of text — leading or line height. Bad leading leads to text that looks crowded. By increasing the leading, you increase the vertical white space between lines of text, generally improving readability in exchange for screen real estate.

Good spacing aids readability. A simple rule is your leading should be wider than your word spacing. You should use color and contrast to help users see and interpret your text. Contrast is particularly important when designing for mobile because of the potential for distracting glare. The right amount of contrast is a tricky thing and quite often designers face following problems:. They set minimum standards for contrast so that users with different visual abilities including the people with moderately low vision can read your text. The W3C recommends the following contrast ratios for body text and image text:.

Typography in web design is similar to print design but requires certain considerations to ensure legibility on all screen types. Typeface, type size, color, line height, and letter shapes are some of the factors within typography that must be carefully balanced to provide a pleasant reading experience. Fonts that are best for reading on screen are ones with distinctive and open letterforms. Proxima Nova, Georgia, and Fira have characteristics that make it easy to read on various screen displays. The font size on a website should be responsive to the screen size that displays it.

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In general, a font should be pt on a mobile screen, pt on a tablet, and pt on a desktop computer screen. Factors like type size, line height, and line length should also be considered. Good typography, like good design, is invisible. The primary purpose of typography is to communicate a written message.

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Type should be designed to be legible and provide a pleasant reading experience. Factors like type size, line height, and line length are elements of typography that should always be considered. A website should keep the number of fonts to a minimum—no more than three in total. When a site has too many fonts, the user can become disoriented with so many shifts in the visual design.

The chosen typefaces should have a variety of weights and styles that can be used strategically in the UI design. Subscription implies consent to our privacy policy. Thank you! Check out your inbox to confirm your invite. By clicking Accept Cookies, you agree to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Accept Cookies. Design All Blogs Icon Chevron. Filter by.

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10 Tips On Typography in Web Design

Jordan DeVos. Jordan's expertise spans across brand strategy, service design, and UX. She works with organizations to help strengthen teams and innovate. The Challenges of Digital Typography When it comes to print design, there are few variables in how a user will interact with it. But that means typesetting can sometimes be done in vain. Screen resolution: Pixel density plays a big part in text legibility.

Technological advances have made hi-res screens more accessible to the masses, but designers should keep in mind the outliers with older tech. Screen calibration: Brightness levels determine how colors appear on the screen. The color choices for web design need to accommodate all types of screen settings.

Fonts for print are designed to be made of ink. Web fonts are designed to be made of square pixels.

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