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In my opinion, one of the most overlooked and least understood aspects of web design is that of typography.

In my experience, many web designers treat typography as an afterthought, ignoring the fact that it's a major element of good design.

Here are some great tools and tips for typography, as well as some links to websites that offer free and paid fonts:


Colour Contrast Check

There's nothing more annoying than stumbling across a website with text that is illegible because the text colour clashes with the background colour. This useful tool allows you to preview coloured text on top of a coloured background and automatically determines if the colours are compliant.


CSSTYPE helps you preview CSS-based text for websites. It even creates the CSS for you.

FontExplorer X

If you, like me, have more fonts than you know what to do with, consider downloading FontExplorer X. It's a free font management tool that not only helps you organize and manage your fonts, but gives you access to thousands more through an integrated store.


If you're really ambitious and want to take a shot at designing your own font, this slick online font creation tool lets you do just that.

Lorem Ipsum

When you need dummy text in a hurry, look no further than Lorem Ipsum, "the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s."


Typetester allows you to compare different fonts side by side to see which one looks best for your needs.


A List Apart

One of my favorite web design websites, A List Apart has some great articles on typography with a focus on CSS.

Mark Boulton

Mark Boulton's "Five simple steps to better typography" provides 5 easy steps designers can apply to their projects to improve their use of typography.

The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web

A comprehensive overview of typography and how it is applied to the web, this website is a great overview to typography and how it relates to the web.


If you can't get enough of typography, consider joining this online community dedicated to typophiles like yourself. Be sure to check out Typophile's online interactive courses.



1001fonts.com provides free TrueType and PostScript fonts for Windows and the Macintosh.

Abstract Fonts

This website provides more than 11,000 free fonts.


dafont.com features over 8,000 fonts, many of which are free for personal use.

Fonts.com (Paid)

With nearly 140,000 fonts, chances are that Fonts.com has a font that will meet your needs.

ITCFonts.com (Paid)

With its 35 year history, International Typeface Corporation has created popular fonts over the years, including venerable favorites like Franklin Gothic.

Linotype (Paid)

A storied name in the world of typography, Linotype offers more than 10,500 quality fonts.


Published 20 June, 2008 by Patrick Oak

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