Design Focus is a regular Online Friendly feature that examines well-designed sites to show how Web designers have overcome some of the challenges of their profession.
UK type design firm Fontsmith caught our attention with their calalog of creative fonts. In this Design Focus, we take a look at their website, and see if they put as much attention to their divs and style sheets as they do counters and serifs.
Drawing attention to what’s important
As a company that specializes in fonts, Fontsmith does well to draw attention to its fonts by using them in its site. For instance, the menu font is FS Sinclair Web Light Italic. And while we think the font is a little hard to read for a menu, we’re glad that the font is tasteful and doesn’t overpower the content of each page.
We’re usually hesitant about having more than one carousel or slider on a page, but we think what Fontsmith has done is great. We really like the major content slider at the bottom, which merges the “call out box” format with a slider to get more in page. This way, the site can draw attention to a “featured font”, new blog posts, Twitter updates, and more. This is a really effective idea to fashionably add navigation and direction — without all the clutter.
We do miss the absence of a home button, but we accept that it’s a common trade-off when trying to simplify the main navigation.
Search Engine Optimization
Fontsmith has the same META data (description, and keywords) across many site pages, which is not optimal from From an SEO perspective. This has largely to do with the site being based on WordPress, which, although we love it as a platform, it all but completely fails at META data out of the box. We recommend changing the META data either manually, or using WordPress plug-ins to help you maximize their value.
Fontsmith makes good use of structure to help keep things organized. Implementing structural changes after the site has gone up is a huge problem, so it’s important to get it right from the beginning. Reorganizing can mean creating a jumble of redirects in order to maintain the site’s SEO value. Thankfully, Fontsmith seems to have a great deal of sectional relevance built into its site structure.
Overall, we’re very impressed with Fontsmith. We think their site draws attention to their fonts, and shows what a stylish and dynamic organization they run.