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Serif and Sans Serif

Serif and Sans Serif

Those who are new to web design will find a plethora of information is available to them online. It can be hard to navigate all of this content and figure out which matters and which is self-promoting fluff. This article brings you the basics you need to know, one by one, so you can easily digest them and turn them into a winning web design strategy.

Best Bet

The color palette your website uses will make it awesome or totally overwhelm it. Try to stick to three colors plus black, white and gray. That will ensure that you have a main color to use, a complimentary color and then a contrasting color to be used on anything which is clickable, like links or buttons. Any more than that and you may end up causing your readers headaches, and they won’t come back if that is the case.

Color Palette

You don’t need to use a huge variety of fonts or typefaces on your site. In fact, sticking to “serif” and “sans serif” is probably your best bet. It has been shown that serif fonts are the most readable, so use them for your main content and small text. Use sans serif for headings and graphics with larger text. As long as you stick to the basics, your site will appear the same in all browsers and on all devices. It will be easy to read and your readers will appreciate that you didn’t go overboard with your design. >

When creating navigation menus, don’t go beyond seven options. Anything more than that and you will confuse people as our short term memories can only hold seven items at a time. If you need to link to more pages, use sub menus or even drop-down menus. People will understand which headings to choose and will easily find what they are looking for. If you use text links, then even search engine spiders will easily be able to navigate your website.

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Complimentary Color

Leave some whitespace around your text so that the focus is on the text, not a complicated website. The more cluttered your site is, the harder it will be to pick out what the content is which the reader has come for. You want to make it easy for them to get the answers they seek, so space out your site so that it is peaceful and calm.

Fluff

As you get ready to create your website, create a list of all the things you it to offer. Then, put them in order of priority. For example, you want to get your store up first, then create a mailing list and social media accounts. If you can tackle each job one by one, you can get them all done right.

Navigation Menus

Now that you know the absolute basics, keep reading articles on the topic. You will find that this knowledge helps you figure out quickly which are worth reading and which you should skip. This will ensure that you can become a great web designer in a short amount of time.

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Comments

    • Solomonkim
    • December 5, 2013
    Reply

    How Can I Make Windows XP Use The Same Font For Everything? I want to configure my Windows XP system such that it only uses one proportional font (Trebuchet MS) and one fixed-width font (Courier), but I can’t uninstall certain fonts because they’re currently in use when my system is on. The only way I know of to change the system fonts is by going to Display Properties>Appearance>Advanced and then changing the font for all the different items that way, but certain elements of Windows still use other fonts, namely Tahoma and Microsoft Sans Serif. Anyone know how to solve this?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      You can’t

      View Comment
    • Mr. Ms
    • December 5, 2013
    Reply

    How Do I Style ALL Text On The Page In Xhtml? I’ve been looking at tutorials, and all I can find is how you style sections of your page like paragraghs and headings. How would I style everything by not repeating everything for each section? Say I want to Style all the text on the page as arial, sans-serif, 12px with the color #223344.

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      In your CSS stylesheet you’ll want to put this: (there’s a shortcut, but I’m going to write it out for you with each property)

      body{
      font-size: 12px;
      font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
      font-weight: normal;
      font-style: normal;
      color: #223344;
      }

      View Comment
    • Learning in Vietnam
    • January 9, 2014
    Reply

    Why Has Yahoo Changed Type Style Options? I hate the new limited choices! And I cannot even switch from serif to sans serif.

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      The Classic version still has the following choice of fonts, including sans serif, with no change in font choices …
      Arial, Bookman Old Style, Comic Sans MS, Courier, Garamond, Lucida Console, Symbol, Tahoma, Times New Roman, and Verdana (also a sans serif font)

      There are no details or explanation on the Yahoo mail blog yet … http://www.ymailblog.com/

      You can switch back to the Classic mail version from this page if you wish …
      Use this link. Under “What if I do not want to upgrade to the newest version of Yahoo! Mail?” is the phrase ‘… If you do not want to upgrade, please click here [BLUE LINK] to use Yahoo! Mail Classic – it is a permanent change unless you click the link to ‘Get the newest version’ …
      http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/mail/ymail/context/migrationv2.html

      View Comment
    • Neaka
    • January 22, 2014
    Reply

    What Is The Most Popular Type Category Among Designers And Why? I’m doing a project for my Type class…and I wanted to do a bit of a poll.

    So for you Graphic Designers out there, what do you think is the most favored type category (Serif, Sans Serif, Modern, Transitional, Old Style, Square Serif) among Designers and why?

    This can be either your personal preference or a textbook answer.
    Thanks in advanced!!

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Serif, because it has been proven to be the most easy to read. When you use a lot of copy, it needs to be Serif.

      Headlines are almost always Sans Serif, because they look much better bold or in caps.

      View Comment
    • Sport fan1
    • January 30, 2014
    Reply

    What Is Serif??? It is mentioned in a song by demon hunter and i dont know what it is

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Be patient with me. This got complicated.

      Both of the previous responses may be right and relevant. A “seraph” is an angel, often a winged or flaming creature, one of the traditional hosts of heaven. If the demon hunter lyric you are referring to is the one below, this is clearly what is meant even though the spelling is “serif.”

      “Sing now serif, find the calm within your soul Bring us closer to the flame that guides us home – Demon Hunter” [1]

      Obviously, it means something like this (I can’t find the whole song to see how it’s used in context): Sing now, Angel . . . Bring us closer to the flame that guides us heavenward. Right?

      In fact, now I’ve found another site that says this: “Ok we get a whole huge frigging choir of angels to go ‘SING NOW SERAPH FIND THE CALM WITHIN YOUR SOUL, BRING US CLOSER TO THE FLAME THAT GUIDES US HOME…'” [2] This spelling solves the problem, doesn’t it.

      However, just in case you’re still curious about the other serif read on. I had spent a lot of time answering what I thought was the question, What is a serif? Don’t want to waste all that effort. So here it is.

      Serif is a homonym for seraph, with an altogether different meaning.

      A serif is a little point, or trill, that decorates letters in some fonts. Sans serif (French for “without serif”) has no such points or trills.

      What you are reading now is a sans serif font (Arial, I think). Yahoo! Answers, as far as I can determine, will not let me import a serif font into my response.

      Internet design typically prefers the simplicity of sans serif fonts. In fact, I had to go through more than twenty of my bookmarks for Internet blogs to find one that featured a serif font. It’s Zogby News! [3] If you check it out, you will see in the text (for example) little points on both sides of the top and base of the T; or, you will see the same kind of little points at each end of the Z. Not in the design at the top of the page however, nor in the word NEWS that heads the text. Contrast Whatz in the design and Whatz in the first word of the current text on that site.

      Or go to truthout [4]. Virtually that whole page is sans serif, but not the word truthout itself, which has a suggestion of serifs, or the phrase Voter Rights, which appears imposed on an American flag a few inches down in the middle column.

      Finally, for a clear explanation with examples of both serif and sans serif fonts, go to the wikipedia article. [5] That article begins, “In typography, serifs are non-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols.”

      In the old days, publishers of newspapers and books tended to use serif fonts almost exclusively for text, sans serif only for title and bold headlines. Hence, serif fonts appear to us now as more formal and traditional, sans serif as more modern and straightforward.

      View Comment
    • Unknown
    • February 24, 2014
    Reply

    A Sans Serif Font, Which Does Not Have ???feet,??? Would Be Most Appropriate In Which Of The Following Documents?
    A business letter
    An interoffice memo
    A website
    A formal report

    View Comment
      • Admin
      • February 24, 2014
      Reply

      A sans serif font may not be appropriate for ANY of those applications.

      Serifs were originally intended for use in text heavy documents. The serifs helped keep the eye directed along the line being read. That way, when a page full of text was being read, the eye had less tendancy to drift up or down.

      A sans serif font is more appropriate for headlines, titles, or other text that tends to stand alone.

      So, in your examples, a sans serifed font MAY be used as a header or title on any of those documents, but not in the body of the text. Even on a website, I wouldn’t design entire paragraphs of text with a sans serif font. I would use serifs to make the reading much easier.

      So, to choose and appropriate font, it is not just the type of document that helps make that decision, it is the specific application of the font being used.

      View Comment
    • Bsilvercross
    • March 29, 2014
    Reply

    Why Would You Use Sarif, And Not Sans-sariff? Before answering research the two and tell me what type of subject would you use sarif for and what subject would you use sans-sarif for?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Sans-serif fonts tend to be easier to read on computer screens, while serif fonts are better for text on paper. I wouldn’t say it matters which you use for any subject.

      View Comment
    • Kavitathattil
    • April 1, 2014
    Reply

    Referring To Fonts – What Does ‘serif Type’ Fonts Mean? “Choose proportionally spaced font, rather than an evenly spaced font. You may choose either serif type (like Times New Roman) or sans serif type (like Arial).”

    In the above para, what does serif type mean?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      In typography, serifs are non-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. A font that has serifs is called a serif font (or seriffed font). A font without serifs is called sans-serif, from the French sans=”without”. Some typography sources refer to sans serif typefaces as “grotesque” (in German “grotesk”) or “Gothic”, and serif types as “Roman”.

      See examples at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serif

      View Comment
    • Anonymous
    • April 3, 2014
    Reply

    Sans-serif Font Has Ornamental Edges.?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      No “sans” means without

      View Comment
    • Unknown
    • April 28, 2014
    Reply

    A Sans Serif Font, Which Does Not Have ???feet,??? Would Be Most Appropriate In Which Of The Following Documents?
    A business letter
    An interoffice memo
    A website
    A formal report

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      I’m going to have to go with a website.

      Sans serif fonts are harder to read, so you don’t generally want to use them in business at all. They look too informal.

      View Comment
    • Daniel
    • May 6, 2014
    Reply

    Can I Use A Sans Serif Typeface Next To A Serif Logo? I have made a logo for a professional company using a Serif typeface I want to know if it’s OK to use a Sans Serif typeface like Helvetica for the headings and text on the website?

    I would prefer to use a Sans Serif as I think it’s cleaner and clearer.

    Thanks in advance

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      You can do whatever you want. Garamond uses sans serif and serif depending on if its upper or lowercase font.

      View Comment
    • Stewpot
    • May 21, 2014
    Reply

    Which Is Better: Serif Or Sans Serif? First answer gets 10pts!

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Sans serif

      View Comment
    • Remp_itboyz
    • May 31, 2014
    Reply

    Difference Between Serif And Sans-serif Fonts?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Serifs have a “tail” on them, and sans-serifs are straight letters, like the default font for the text here.

      Here’s a visual of the difference.
      http://cybernetnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/serif-20sans-20font.jpg

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