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Designing typographic links for the traditional page

From: Typography for Web Designers

Video: Designing typographic links for the traditional page

In this lesson we're going to decide where to place our links and decide how they should look. We're going to want to keep a traditional look to the page so we'll try and create a text frame. We will also try to create a vertical line and a focal point. We will start by picking a font. We are keeping a traditional elegant look. Let's work with the fonts we're already using. Our choices are Georgia, Georgia Italic, Georgia Bold, Georgia Caps, and Verdana Bold Caps.

Designing typographic links for the traditional page

In this lesson we're going to decide where to place our links and decide how they should look. We're going to want to keep a traditional look to the page so we'll try and create a text frame. We will also try to create a vertical line and a focal point. We will start by picking a font. We are keeping a traditional elegant look. Let's work with the fonts we're already using. Our choices are Georgia, Georgia Italic, Georgia Bold, Georgia Caps, and Verdana Bold Caps.

Let's start with the ones I don't think will work. The first is Georgia Bold. The links would stand out too much and compete with our h2 section headers. Next is Georgia Caps. It has a lovely elegant feeling, which gives it potential, but I'm not crazy about how it references the Verdana Caps. It's not horrible, but not our best option. Verdana Bold Caps, like we've used for the h2s, is too strong for the links.

We want the h2s to stand out more than the links, so we won't use the Verdana Bold Caps. We can make them normal rate, but I personally think they still reference the h2 a bit too much. They wouldn't be a bad decision and someone else might choose them, but they're not my first choice. That leaves us with Georgia and Georgia Italic. The italic is already used to mean title throughout the page, even when used for the h3, and that's a pretty strong association.

Let's leave italics for the titles and just use Georgia Roman. We will keep our links the same size as the text. Color and placement will help the links stand out. When placing the list of links we've got a couple of options. At the top, to the left, and to the right. If we line them up along the top, the line of links gets really long. It's hard to tell because there's not much room here, but even if we move the main header down, the line of links doesn't work.

It's much longer than the line length of the text or the length of the h1. This isn't always a problem, but in this traditional layout it will make it harder to find a relationship between the elements. The composition starts to look like a funnel and the Chopin Script looks a little boxed in. I think it needs more space to really show off how lovely it is. Again, this is not a terrible option. It's just not my first choice. If we put them in a list to the left of the text, it could work.

It helps emphasize the strong vertical line with the aligned edge of the text. So we'll keep this one in mind. If we put the links in a list to the right of the text, it's not bad, but it creates an odd space and draws attention to the ragged edge of the text. So again, it's not my first choice. So let's put them on the left. Shall we align the links themselves left, right, or center? Aligning left will facilitate skimming the links.

Aligning right will further emphasize the vertical line. Aligning center will further emphasize the traditional feeling of the layout. Any of the three will work. They all improve the layout in their own way. I'm going to go with the center alignment. There isn't really a long list of links, so even though they're a little hard to skim, it would be okay in terms of readability. And while creating a strong vertical line, like we do with the align right approach, improves tension on the page, this is a traditional layout.

I'd rather go for the elegance of the center text. Now that we know where our links will live on the page, two other things to think about are what color to use for the links and what the links will look like when we interact with them. Since we aren't using any other color element in the layout, like a photo, we can just pick a color that feels right to us. I would like to use something that stands out but not too much. Red is a classic color used in typography, so it might be a good place to start, as long as it's not too bright.

For the hover, which is the change to the link when someone rolls over it, let's use Georgia Italic in the same color. The italic is beautiful and it would be nice to draw attention to it. We also need to think about how the links will look when they're activated or clicked on. Let's keep it simple and just slightly darken the red. It will be noticeable, but not jarring. Finally, we need to think about what the links should look like after they've been visited. Let's keep them the slightly darker red.

This darker red sits back from the brighter red links. They almost feel turned off like "Hey, don't pay as much attention to me, you've already visited me." At the same time, they work in the overall color palette. Since they're red, they still feel like links. Now that the links are set, I think they could use a little extra line height. It will help them read more like a list of links and will soften the red color and feel even more elegant. The only thing I'd change now that we've got our links in place is the placement of the main heading.

If it's centered over the text, it will feel more traditional. We've decided how the links should look, where they should live on the page, and how they should change as the reader interacts with them. We've created a strong vertical line and by keeping the links subtle, that is, not bold or big or bright, we've kept the h1 our main focal point, so we're ready to start putting the links on the page. We will do that in the next lesson.

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This video is part of

Image for Typography for Web Designers
Typography for Web Designers

74 video lessons · 13499 viewers

Laura Franz
Author

 
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  1. 6m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 57s
    3. Things to consider before starting this course
      3m 12s
  2. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding how good typography promotes reading
      2m 9s
    2. Understanding legibility
      4m 41s
    3. Understanding how fonts convey meaning
      5m 19s
    4. Choosing web-safe fonts to convey meaning
      6m 13s
    5. Using font size, case, style, letter spacing, weight, and color to convey meaning
      6m 22s
    6. Choosing web fonts to convey meaning
      6m 23s
    7. Downloading web fonts
      4m 9s
    8. Applying web fonts in CSS with @font-face
      5m 47s
  3. 38m 0s
    1. Choosing a web-safe font for use in text
      4m 13s
    2. Applying the web-safe font to the text and the heading
      3m 4s
    3. Setting a class for the resource titles in the text
      3m 45s
    4. Choosing a second web-safe font for the heading
      2m 42s
    5. Applying the second font to the heading
      2m 16s
    6. Choosing a web font from the Google Font API for use in text
      5m 44s
    7. Adding and applying the Google Font API syntax
      4m 29s
    8. Choosing a second web font from the Google Font API for the heading
      2m 56s
    9. Adding and applying the second font to the heading
      4m 52s
    10. Analyzing the fonts on some professional sites
      3m 59s
  4. 55m 31s
    1. Understanding how we read
      4m 34s
    2. Finding and applying a good font size and line height
      4m 50s
    3. Finding and applying a good line length
      8m 6s
    4. Understanding ems
      6m 17s
    5. Using ems to set font size
      6m 9s
    6. Using ems to set line length
      3m 40s
    7. Understanding how color affects readability
      3m 58s
    8. Improving a color palette by improving contrast
      5m 39s
    9. Improving a color palette by reducing optical vibration
      4m 59s
    10. Analyzing text readability on the professional sites
      7m 19s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding how we "chunk" visual elements
      3m 59s
    2. Developing a system of hierarchy
      2m 17s
    3. Applying hierarchy in HTML and CSS
      7m 16s
    4. Developing a system to help chunk text for readers
      6m 1s
    5. Applying the system in the CSS
      4m 19s
    6. Changing an element by creating and applying a class
      5m 0s
    7. Using multiple columns to create hierarchy
      4m 12s
    8. Building a two-column system in HTML and CSS
      10m 56s
    9. Refining the horizontal space in a two-column layout
      6m 1s
    10. Adding rule lines to improve chunking
      5m 50s
    11. Adding emphasis within a heading
      4m 36s
    12. Analyzing the chunking on the professional sites
      11m 18s
  6. 17m 57s
    1. Understanding classic and modernist typographic pages
      7m 3s
    2. Understanding how to create rhythm and tension
      6m 0s
    3. Applying typography skills when making design decisions
      4m 54s
  7. 55m 47s
    1. Designing typographic links for the traditional page
      5m 54s
    2. Adding a list of links to the traditional page
      8m 44s
    3. Describing the link states in CSS
      6m 30s
    4. Returning links to their original "unvisited" style
      2m 38s
    5. Using different CSS for different kinds of links
      7m 28s
    6. Using CSS notation to organize syntax
      5m 34s
    7. Choosing a background color or image
      4m 0s
    8. Applying a repeating background image
      2m 58s
    9. Shaping the traditional page layout
      6m 38s
    10. Analyzing the traditional typographic elements on the professional sites
      5m 23s
  8. 43m 0s
    1. Designing typographic links for the modernist page
      6m 47s
    2. Making a list of links run across the page
      2m 14s
    3. Adding and removing space between the navigation links
      6m 50s
    4. Styling the inline links on the modernist page
      5m 33s
    5. Choosing a background color or image for the modernist bibliography
      4m 4s
    6. Applying a no-repeat background image
      4m 13s
    7. Shaping the modernist page layout
      6m 58s
    8. Analyzing the modernist typographic elements on the professional sites
      6m 21s
  9. 52m 53s
    1. Fixing quotation marks and apostrophes
      6m 59s
    2. Fixing dashes
      6m 33s
    3. Working with lining figures (numbers) and acronyms
      9m 28s
    4. Fixing characters that don't look right
      8m 19s
    5. Hanging punctuation
      2m 54s
    6. Applying typographic accents
      2m 36s
    7. Vertically centering text
      5m 18s
    8. Creating drop caps
      5m 59s
    9. Analyzing the typographic details on the professional sites
      4m 47s
  10. 3m 9s
    1. Additional resources
      3m 9s

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