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Accessibility and Usability Forum

    
Font cloud is bad
How to explain this
ergophobe




msg:1583145
 5:06 pm on Jun 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I guess this forum is hte best place for this. It's a typography issue that is not a serious obstacle to usability, but I think aesthetics are related to usability, so here goes.

I'm trying and trying to explain to someone why having a font cloud is bad design. I'm doing one site for him, but he has other sites that he maintains where he likes to let loose with fonts as in:

Featured widget makers (for hire)

This is a fairly common example (and yes, it is lifted from the site with keywords exemplified). It's just an aesthetic choice of course and these are his sites, but I would like to see him succeed (he's basically selling himself as a speaker) and I don't think that's putting himself in the best light.

When I'm done with his site design, he'll be handling updates and before I turn it over to him, I want to get him on track with a cleaner, nicer look to his typography. Back in 1996, it seems like there were all sorts of pages explaining why this is bad, but since they are so uncommon now, I can't find some good pages to point him to. I'm thinking of something along the lines of the original web pages that sucks pages from 1996 [webpagesthatsuck.com] but not so ridiculously over the top.

I'm looking for something that illustrates a bit more subtly the before and after of font cloud versus clean design, with an intelligent discussion. Or some good analogy.

 

le_gber




msg:1583146
 10:35 am on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

as he is a speaker you could tell him that:

"in one of your speech you wouldn't start a sentence by shouting and end it by whispering"

ergophobe




msg:1583147
 5:16 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Perfect!

benihana




msg:3005367
 10:47 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree it does generally look untidy, but playing devils advocate

I dont see it as being hugely different to using <strong> or <em> to emphasise part of the sentence, and im sure, as a speaker, your client will be quite used to raising and lowering his voice, tempo and pitch etc to make a point, add emphasis or hold peoples interest :)

<added> that said, i would have thought in the example it should be the 'widget makers' bit that woulds have the greatest importance and therefore emphasis </added>

jessejump




msg:3007536
 3:49 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>>> I can't find some good pages to point him to.

I've run across many pages devoted to typographry and good design. Many design sites discuss things like white space, fonts, margins, colors - basic graphic design theory.
Doesn't have to be web-related.

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