Typography can make or break a blog. You presumably are writing your blog so people will read it, so it is important to pay close attention to the typography so that your content is as legible and comfortable to follow as possible. Blog readers expect to be able to scan articles easily, and if you make it too difficult for them to read your content, they will become frustrated, and may move on to read a site that is easier to digest.
Here are some basic guidelines to remember as you consider your site’s typography:
1. Thou shalt not have long lines of content that make the reader work too hard to read. Lines should have a maximum of 15-20 words. Any more and the reader cannot scan it quickly. Fluid width sites often guilty of this, as the body content inevitably gets stretched out to ridiculous lengths depending on the screen resolution readers are using.
2. Thou shalt not squish the letters together using negative letter spacing. Spare use of this in large headings is passable, but in most cases, it makes the words difficult to read.
3. Thou also shalt not squish the lines together too closely. Give the lines room to breathe. This will help the readers’ eyes track the text better. Set the line height using a percentage, rather than pixels, as readers may have their font sizes increased in the browser settings. A line height of 140% is a good rule of thumb for body copy.
4. Thou shalt rarely style your fonts using the bold font weight. It rarely looks nice on the screen. Instead, increase the size of the font.
5. Thou shalt never use more than 3 fonts in a blog design, and should probably stick to just two. Try styling the fonts you’re using differently rather than using multiple fonts. For example, use Georgia in various ways, such as the font-variant: small-caps for headings and italics for the post meta data (category, date, author, etc.).
6. Thou shalt use colors that provide plenty of contrast on the screen and consider very carefully before putting light text on a dark background. The latter can be done effectively, but in general it is easier to read dark text on a light background.
7. Thou shalt only use fonts that are widely available across both Windows and Mac OS. This one is a no-brainer it would seem, but you’d be surprised how often it is broken.
8. Thou shalt allow plenty of space between items on the page. There should be at least a 50 pixel gap between the end of one post and the start of another, or a divider of some sort, so it is very clear where the next post begins.
9. Thou shalt not make the text teeny-weeny so that readers must strain to read it. This also seems like a no-brainer, but people persist in making their readers strain to read their tiny text.
10. Thou shalt never, never use Comic Sans font unless thou wouldst like to be labeled an idiot.