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Chapter 7. Typography > Type for the Web

Type for the Web

Unfortunately, the tried-and-true rules that designers are accustomed to following for print layouts don't always apply to Web layouts. When you choose a typeface for a print layout, for example, you can depend on your final output being crisp—and in the typeface you chose. A Web page, on the other hand, can (and probably will) look different on different monitors and in different operating systems. That's due to differing monitor resolutions and the fact that the fonts you chose may not be available on a user's station (in the case of the latter, font substitution may occur). Your job as a Web designer is to keep the strengths and pitfalls of your layout type in mind as you create your page. And at the present time, text on a Web page can be unreliable.

One solution to the font substitution dilemma is to convert text into graphics (raster text boxes), but this isn't universally useful, as it increases the download time for the page. Luckily, you can perform such a conversion on some text boxes and not others. It's a good solution for headlines, logos, and other text blocks that you want users to see in the original font. Then, for your body text, choose a font that's readily available on most users' systems, such as Times, Courier, or Helvetica.


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