The top 10 most common typography mistakes

Are you making these mistakes?

Typography

Good Typography: It’s only for people that want their content to be read.

The words still matter. A lot.

What also matters is how the words are formatted and laid out. It affects readability and therefore, how long your visitors stick around.

This is a result of the CSS or Cascading Style Sheet that determines the overall look and feel of the site, as well as how the post author has chosen to format their articles.

Article authors can change their formatting just by editing their posts, but in order to change the styling of your website you either need to change themes, have someone do it for you, or learn CSS basics.

Here are the 10 most common typography mistakes that reduce readability and as a result, conversions!

Top 10 most common typography mistakes

1. Justified text

If I write a lot of words and make the spacing between them very even it may appeal to your sense of order but many people find it hard to read text that is like a big block. To the eyes it becomes like a blob with no distinguishing features.

Controlled by: Author

2. No formatting

Making text bold and using italics as well as using larger headings for sections of your blog article, gives the reader the ability to scan as well as making your ideas flow in a way that serves the content.

If you don’t include any appropriate formatting, not only does it reduce readability but it’s kind of like saying, “I really just bashed this one out hope you would like it. I really don’t put that much love or attention into this.”

Controlled by: Author

3. Fonts too small

This is a straightforward readability issue that shifts slightly depending on your demographic but for the most part you can assume that most text is too small for comfortable reading.

Designers love small text because it looks classy. Readers like large text because it means they don’t have to lean in too far into their monitors. Decide which audience you want to please.

Controlled by: CSS

4. Unorthodox fonts for the body copy

If someone can’t read your text it doesn’t matter how amazing your ideas are.

Using traditional body copy fonts such as Arial, Helvetica and Georgia allows your visitors to relax and focus on what you are saying. People are not going to keep coming back to your site because they like the fonts!

Controlled by: CSS

5. Line-height too small

A small line-height makes the text read more slowly as the eye has to narrow it’s focus. This is made even worse of the font is small as well.

Controlled by: CSS

6. No line-breaks

This is one of the more common mistakes that’s easy to remedy. Of course it has to be put in the right place but all you have to do is press the return key more often.

Again it’s this idea of text becoming blocked up and presenting too much of a barrier to the reader.

Controlled by: Author

7. Too many different fonts

Again this creates a kind of scattering effect that creates dis-ease on your page. You may think it’s arty or creative but your visitors do not share your views. They care about themselves and whether your content is useful or entertaining to them.

Controlled by: Author& CSS

8. Using misleading or confusing colors

If I decide to make this text blue you will think it’s a link. Also using background colors can be good for drawing attention to something but make sure there is enough contrast between the two.

On the issues of websites with light text on dark backgrounds, it can work and be more soothing according to some, but there are some cautions. Read more about this here and here.

Confusion is bad for readability and obviously would have an effect on sales if you’re running an e-commerce site. Your readers should feel at ease on your website. It’s hard to do that if your pages look like rainbows.

Controlled by: Author& CSS

9. Using all Caps

THIS STILL HAPPENS! AND NOT JUST ON FACEBOOK THREADS EITHER. IT’S SHOUTING AND MOST PEOPLE HATE IT.

Controlled by: Author

10. Centering text

It’s fine for small blocks of text that perhaps are inspiring quotes, but using centered text for large blocks of text not only looks amateurish, it makes the words virtually unreadable.

Controlled by: Author & CSS

11. Typos and spelling errors

Even after checking your post, check it again. And then again before publishing.

WordPress does have a spell checker but it doesn’t check for context and syntax. That’s your/my job.

Controlled by: Author

Top 10 Most Common Typography Mistakes

References

The difference a browser can make

Another important thing is that the browser your visitors use can make a huge difference in both the default font sizes as well as how well they render on your screen.

Browser usage stats worldwide – W3 Schools

Yet another reason to err on the side of conservative!

Sites with amazing typography

photo credit: splorp via photopin cc

3 Responses to “The top 10 most common typography mistakes”

  1. Leigh Robshaw November 20, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    This is a great post, thanks. I am going to implement these tips on my blog from now on. Cheers mate!

  2. Green Web Marketing December 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Great article, I get so frustrated when clients insist on using ALL CAPS or justified, because they think it looks nice.

    • Herrin December 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      I guess it’s an education process.

      They need to understand that its going to directly affect their bottom line. Harder to read = less readers and therefore sales.

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