A pixel art image of a mushroom


For a more in-depth look, check out Practical Typography by Butterick.

This is a summary of parts of that book that I use when designing my websites.

What is Typography?

The visual component of the written word.

Typograhy has to be oriented to actual readers, that have low attention span and low interest in the topic at hand. It helps conserve the reader attention.

Butterick presents two laws in this page. I don’t think they are particularly relevant for my case. I’m not competing with other content writers and I don’t have anything to gain, since, at least here in the digital forest my only objective is to help my (and potentially your) learning.

They may be important if you care about typography for a product, so if you have those needs, go there and read them!

However it is true that typography helps us maintain attention, and I care about my own attention when reading these notes.

Good Typography

Reinforces the meaning of the text

  1. Good typography is measured by how well it reinforces the meaning of the text. One size never fits all, you need to adapt to the text.
  2. For a given text, many typographic solutions would work equally well.
  3. Good typography depends on the goals of the text, not on taste or visual training.

Good typography is measured on a utilitarian yardstick.

More detail

  1. type composition
  2. bold or italic
  3. headings