Design

fontclutterIf you keep staring at your webpage trying to figure out what exactly is not quite right about it – have you considered the possibility of font clutter? Credibility based-design is crucial for a website’s success. You want your pages to look professional and clean. It only takes two seconds for an average web user to identify whether a site is trustworthy or not. The presence of many different fonts can easily spoil the first impression for someone coming to your site for the first time. They might not even know what drove them away from what you have to offer, and your site will never get a second chance. So, better get the font thing right!

Many designers follow the rule of three fonts per page. I suppose, you can get away with four, but that should be it. It is especially important not to have too many fonts show up above the fold. This may be a more difficult task that it seems at first. A website can have numerous creatives, including the ones that come from external ads. And you probably have “a special font” that you used for your logo. All these fonts count towards the number of fonts that you are allotted per page. You really don’t get to explain to the visitor that the logo graphic simply needs a curvy sans serif font, while the banner ad uses a Gothic style font to advertise a medieval combat game. Add to that the header, the tagline, the links and the body text – and the visual impact of the page is already in jeopardy.

What should you do? You need to make an inventory of the fonts on your landing webpage, and the website in general. Carefully examine the graphics and identify the font. If needed, use an online service to figure out what exact font is being used. You can also get a simple tool that lets you find out the font of any given line of text on any site. If you see your inventory list of fonts exceed three, it’s time to take action. Consider replacing some fonts with different typefaces from the same font family that you use more extensively. Also be cautious about overusing different styles of the same font (bold, italics, all caps) – that also amounts to font clutter.

And here is a bonus tip. Take before and after snapshots of your landing page. Compare the two to make sure that you indeed made some progress in reducing visual clutter on your website. How does it look? As long as you did not reduce the number of  fonts to just one boring sans serif font of the same size, the page should look just right!

logosDo you struggle to come up with an attractive logo for your website? That means you understand how important it is to have a clear visual identifier for your online assets. Good looking logo instills in your visitors the sense of trust and helps them recognize your brand when they come in contact with it through other media: on FaceBook, on Pintrest, Instagram or YouTube – you name it. In fact, having a logo makes an average visitor stay on the page longer – a very important clue for search engines.

Employing a professional artist can easily cost you hundreds of dollars which may not be in the budget if you don’t have your site monetized properly, so it pays for its own beautification. Fortunately, if you know just a little bit about Photoshop or any other similar program you can get a decent logo without spending a dime. Here is how.

  1. Decide on the color scheme that you like. Either pick your favorite colors or use the colors favored by a webpage that you find visually appealing.
  2. Create a “dummy” logo that simply uses the textual elements that you want to have, using the colors you have picked. Do not worry at all about placement, fonts, sizes. Just get the text down.
  3. Save the dummy logo as logo.jpg.
  4. Go to http://images.google.com and click on the little image of a camera next to the search button.
  5. Click on “upload” and submit your dummy logo.
  6. Google will now inform you that it was unable to find any matching images on line. Darn right! Your dummy file is so original… But Google will also display a listing of logos that look similar to yours. You just have to point at one of them and click “similar.”
  7. Now you can peruse through hundreds of logo images, all of them use the same or similar color scheme as yours. Look for text placement ideas, angles, fonts, font styles, sizes, embellishments – and be inspired.
  8. Apply the knowledge and ideas you have gained to create a new logo. If you somehow think that because of following this process your logo will not be original, consider that an actual graphics artist that you could hire will in all likelihood use a very similar technique or simply use a “swipe” file!