minimalism: FONT STYLE

Minimalist web designers must use font carefully. Like any of the available tools, font is very powerful and can be misused if extreme control is not exhibited. Many sites such as rikcat and testpilot stick to one font, using other media, such as color, to attain contrast wherever it is needed.

When authors choose to use multiple fonts, they must ensure that the contrast is subtle enough to preserve the minimal feel, but powerful enough to create a solid counterpoint.

Daniel Jone’s site is one such example. The site has no color and uses that lack of distraction to emphasize the switch between serif headings and sans-serif bodies. Although the headings are not much bigger than the bodies, the serif font presents itself as an obvious heading, and our eyes are drawn to the important information first.

This example reinforces the claim that minimalism assists readers in scanning. The subtle counterpoints are emphasized by the hypnotic trend that the rest of the information falls into, so the readers eyes are drawn, without being forced, to where the author wants them.

minimalism: FONT SIZE

Alongside the decisions authors must make about which font(s) they choose to use, minimal web designers must also be careful about how they display those fonts on their sites. A specific topic of concern is regarding how big — or small — to make these fonts.

Once again, minimalism is all about eliminating the unnecessary in order to reach the focus’ purest form. In this way, minimalism is, in a sense, quiet.

Testpilot plays on this, using an extremely small font. This works wells, as the site does not have much textual information.

On a site such as this one, where sustained reading is necessary, such an extremely small font would sacrifice readability. This would be both ineffective, and against minimalism’s core, taking away from the essence of the article to make an auxilliary point.