The Future of typefaces in webdesign

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OK here is a little pop quiz today.  Spot the difference between the follow two blocks.

Block A

Logo design, web design, website designer, graphic designer, St Louis website designer, Chicago website designer, SEO, internet marketing, corporate branding, email template design, brochure design.

Block B

font image

Did you spot anything? No? Correct! That’s because visually there is no difference at all.

Now try and select the type in each block. It’s easy in Block A but impossible in Block B. That is because block B is an image but block A is pure HTML with a little CSS styling. Just like your cursor, a search engine is blind to the words in block B but has 20/20 vision to the words in Block A.

The typeface used to generate these blocks is not one we would usually see on a web site. We web designers have had to stick to a small family of web safe fonts to ensure that the copy of a site can be read no matter what computer or platform you are using. Any use of a font outside this small family means that we have to use a “blind to search engines ” image.

However thanks to Google Font Directory the world of web safe fonts is coming to an end. The directory currently contains just a small number of more usual typeface that can be easily integrated into a web site, like Reenie Beanie above. It is not widely used yet but I predict the number of typeface added to the directory will rapidly grow.


  • Smaller files sizes
  • Easier and faster to update than pure images.
  • More search engine friendly
  • Much bigger family of “web safe fonts”

2010 © St Louis Web Designer

Website in progress for St Louis Ophthalmology Practice

Starting a new website project is always an exciting time, creating a blank Photoshop file and making pixels do their stuff. Thinking about how to engage the site visitor, designing a navigational tool that is intuitive, employing the KISS principal ( keep it simple stupid), selecting a color palette, choosing imagery and putting it all together in a way that is appealing and functional.  And that’s just the design phase. I love my job…does it show?

We are currently in the design phase for a new project for a St Louis Ophthalmology Practice. All the design work gets posted online for the client to review and critique, a  fundamental element in our design process. With their feedback the design will evolve into the winning concept that meets all the requirement we established in the definition stage of the project. It is a tried and tested methodology that works.

clinical web site

We are still making a few final tweaks to the design. Next we will move onto the development stage of the project. Here the static design will be rendered into a form which can be understood by web browsers. We go from the creativity of Photoshop to the technicalities of coding.

The project is scheduled for launch late summer.

2010 © St Louis Web Designer

Is writing a blog worth the effort for a small business owner?

Any savvy small business owner will have a carefully crafted online marketing plan, it may include a lead generating web site,  a monthly newsletter blast and even a blog.

Blogging is much more than a passing trend and is here to stay as an invaluable cheap ( free!) tool. However to be effective a blog must be written on a regular basis and this definitely requires a substantial commitment. Making time in your work schedule and coming up with interesting/relevant/unique content can be challenging.  Writing a new blog post is far too easy to push down to the bottom of your to-do list.  So is it worth the effort?

small business owner blog

When it comes to a blog you reap what you sow. Just take a look at the follow five things that can be achieved by blogging.

  • Illustrating  expertise in your field to build and maintain credibility
    Do you offer a unique service or approach to problems? Are you an IT expert who can offer easy everyday tips to keep a home PC running smoothly? Blogging about your area of expertise will help build and maintain your credibility as an expert in your field.
  • Increasing traffic from search engines (SEO)
    There is nothing search engines love more than fresh content and blogs are a great way to deliver that content. Think about the key words and phrases you would like to target and include them in both the title and body  of your posts.
  • Generating sales leads
    Promoting a new product or service, have any special offers? Because blog posts are quickly picked up by the search engines they can act as great landing pages to engage your visitors. Be sure to include a call on action in these types of posts.  It is also important that your blog appears as a seamless part of your corporate web site so visitors can easily navigate around.
  • Sharing less formal thoughts/ideas
    Blogging offers a great platform for less formal thoughts or ideas that may not be suitable within the confines of a corporate web site. You can be personable and conversational.
  • Engaging with your site visitors
    Through blog comments you can interact with your visitors on a different level. Don’t worry about spam or detrimental comments. As a blog administrator you are always given the option whether or not to publish.

So is writing a blog worth the effort? I think it is.

2010 © St Louis Web Designer

New Website for Chicago Headhunting Company

There is nothing like kicking off a Monday morning with the launch of a project. Today sees the release of a new web site and brand image for Chicago headhunting company, Peter Meder and Company.
Chicago headhunter peter meder web site

We began working with Peter about a month ago. He wanted a very professional and polished looking web site and was interested in integrating his  blog and networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. We created a clean crisp look and feel enhanced by an amazing set of photographs ( taken by Peter himself) with call to actions on the home page to current headhunting searches,  social media connections and his blog.

The blog, “Moving up -A conversation with Peter,  career advice and stories from 25 years of headhunting” has been live for a few months but just using a standard blogger template. To ensured it flows seamlessly with the rest of the site we created a custom template, with navigation to the main site and branded with the Peter Meder and company brand elements.

peter meder blog

Twitter and Facebook accounts were also given the brand image.

peter Meder socail media

We are just finishing up on a stationery set to complete the brand makeover. As I said before full image branding are my favorite design projects and I am looking forward to the opportunity to working with more Chicago based clients!

2010 © St Louis Web Designer

Emotions of a Type Face: A set of playful fonts

Ask any web or graphic designer how many type faces they have loaded in their font directory and you will be boggled by the number, they are important tools of the trade and we like to have lots!

Selecting the right typeface for a project, title, button, logo, banner, call to action, etc, can be a time consuming task. What sort of emotion will the typeface evoke and will it be the right emotion?

Today I am starting a new series, the emotions of a type face, and to kick it off lets start with a set of playful fonts.

These fonts all convey a relaxed, laid back emotion. They are fun, non confrontational but functional.

playful fonts

Next time I’ll showcase a set of energetic fonts

2010 © St Louis Web Designer

Pro Bono web design

I feel it is important to give back to the community and try and take on one pro bono design project a year. I get plenty of opportunities over my desk and selecting the project is not always easy.

However this week one popped up I could not ignore. Linda Hansen of the Burns Recovered Support Group contacted me to see if I would be interested in reworking their web site. They offer a fantastic summer camp for burn victim children and  a wealth of support for burn survivors. So over the next few weeks I will be working with Linda and her team to bring their web site up to scratch.

2010 © St Louis Web Designer