Web Design Trend Hunting – Big Bold Typography

Categories Trend Hunting, Web Design

Our guest post today is written by Chris Thurman who runs Visual Swirl, a design blog focused on providing free, high quality resources, tutorials and articles on all things design.

A recent trend in homepage design is the use of big, bold, typography. More and more designers are utilizing a “less is more” mentality and taking a page from billboard layouts to create effective and attractive messages that reach users. And don’t forget to check out the other posts in the Web Design Trend Hunting category.

Billboards placed along interstates display large, simple messages to attract the attention of drivers. With cars whizzing by, billboard designs must be eye catching and succinct to have any chance at persuading passersby to pull off for a burger or to visit a local attraction. Many web users are like drivers, flying through websites with their heads glancing left and right. A user passing by your site may only stop for 3-5 seconds before cruising right along. Using large, bold typography will ensure that users understand your message loud and clear.

Here are several tips to make sure your message gets across in BIG BOLD LETTERS:

What’s Most Important?

The first thing to a great billboard homepage is determining what single message you want to emphasize. By selecting just one message, you can focus your design around delivering that message effectively. Many web designs try to push multiple messages simultaneously which can weaken the overall impact of all messages and lead to user confusion or choice paralysis. If your website has multiple messages/purposes, prioritize what is most important and start there. You could also use jQuery or other technologies to rotate through messages one at a time. The key is to draw the eyes of your user to one spot.

Short and Sweet

Messages that are simple, catchy, and easy to understand are generally the most effective. Make sure your primary message is quick and easy to read. One or two word statements can be just as informative as 3 paragraphs of sales copy (and if you create an effective billboard presentation, users will generally be more inclined to read all that wonderful copy). Also, the use of large typography will help keep your message under control by limiting the amount of space you have to sell.

Plenty of Whitespace

Give your message room to breathe by including plenty of whitespace around the text. This will add emphasis and create even more focus on the typography. Many designers feel the need to cram as much information on the homepage. Making it a priority to add whitespace to your design will prevent over saturation and help create a professional, clean presentation.

Match with Imagery

In addition to whitespace, the use of bold images to accompany your message will help increase the power of persuasion. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an appropriate image will help explain and exclaim your message.

Gallery Time

Now get ready to cruise through some home page billboards and see how effective they are at getting your attention:

Every page of Carsonified’s website has a bold message to get the point across fast.

For a beautiful Web makes it clear that they want a beautiful web.

Friendly Duck get’s their point across with big words and a simple duck.

I love the simplicity of a title and a definition. It’s as simple as that.

A perfect blend of pictures and words on the homepage of The Croquis.

The fish may draw your attention but the bold typography provides a wonderful welcome.

72 Ave. puts it bluntly.

Project 365 is another of many web design agencies utilizing bold typography effectively.

The bold typography here helps balance the powerful imagery.

Boco’s homepage get’s the point across in a hurry.

The Takeaway

Utilizing these tips and taking inspiration from other designs will help you create beautiful bold homepages that grab user’s attention and increase the effectiveness of your site’s message. And if you still need more inspiration, hop in the car and head down the interstate.

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Chris Thurman is a front-end web designer and a budding web entrepreneur. He's also the man behind Visual Swirl, a fast-growing design blog. For more tasty snacks follow him on Twitter: @visualswirl
  • These are mostly trends in web sites (i.e. essentially static, content based web presences).

    When we are talking about e-commerce and web apps, the trends are somewhat difference arguably.

  • Bold type is nice when escaping the regular web-safe fonts. I want to do something a little more to my site in the header section that uses typography in a more effective way to match the content of the page. Thanks for the list!

  • Love the saturation of n.design.

  • I am a big fan of the BIG TYPE. With the desire of one page websites and google caffeine, it makes browsing much easier, speedy and to the point.

  • A popular trend at the moment is headline grabbing over-sized typography.

  • This was a trend for tv spots a while back, interesting to see it being picked up online now.

    I made this one of my three links on today’s Design Thought for the Day blog:

    All the best, Ted

  • I really like the monochromatic color scheme and the strong bold type used in Carsonified’s website. Something about the usage of those two particular colors and then typeface just works.

  • You have really done a great job. Quite inspirational designs indeed. I like it and always appreciate unique designs. Thanks

  • I think it’s about focus. Find out what the main point of your page is and all of a sudden you’ve got a clear, uncluttered design. Big type is much better at conveying a singular message rather than a diatribe about how great you are at everything.

  • I’m a big fan of huge fonts. And I believe this trend will stay on. I guess we will see more of this trend come 2011.