Web Style Guide third edition

by Patrick J. Lynch
and Sarah Horton

8 Typography

Typography exists to honor content.
Robert Bringhurst

Typography is the balance and interplay of letterforms on the page—a verbal and visual equation that helps the reader understand the form and absorb the substance of the page content. Typography plays a dual role as both verbal and visual communication. When readers scan a page they are subconsciously aware of both functions: first they survey the overall graphic patterns of the page, and then they parse the language and read.

Good typography establishes a visual hierarchy for rendering prose on the page by providing visual punctuation and graphic accents that help readers understand relations between prose and pictures, headlines and subordinate blocks of text.