Summary: If you’re a designer or a small business owner looking to improve your website’s typography, I highly recommend adding Type Matters! to your reading list.

As a web designer, typography isn’t just another design element; it’s a crucial aspect of creating a compelling and readable website. If you’re looking to sharpen your typographic skills, Type Matters! by Jim Williams is a must-read. This review delves into why this book should be a staple on every designer’s bookshelf, especially those of us serving small business owners in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

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Introduction to Type Matters!

Type Matters! is a concise and beautifully crafted guide that demystifies the art and science of typography. Jim Williams, a seasoned typographer, offers practical advice and insights that can transform how you approach type in your designs. The book is well-structured, making it easy to dip in and out of, with each section focusing on different aspects of typography.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding Typography Basics: Williams begins with the fundamentals, explaining the anatomy of typefaces and the differences between serif and sans-serif fonts. This foundational knowledge is essential for any designer looking to make informed typographic choices.

  2. Practical Tips: The book is brimming with practical tips on how to improve legibility and readability. Williams covers everything from optimal line spacing and alignment to the importance of proper kerning and leading. These tips are not only useful but also immediately applicable to web design projects.

  3. Attention to Detail: One of the standout aspects of Type Matters! is its emphasis on the finer details of typography. Williams encourages designers to pay attention to small but significant details such as the use of hyphens, dashes, and quotation marks. These nuances can elevate the professionalism and polish of your work.

  4. Real-World Examples: The book features numerous real-world examples that illustrate good and bad typography. These examples help contextualise the principles discussed and demonstrate their impact on the overall design.

  5. Visual Appeal: True to its subject matter, Type Matters! is a visually appealing book. The layout is clean and well-organised, making it a pleasure to read. Each page is a testament to the principles Williams advocates, providing a living example of good typography.

Why Type Matters! is a Must-Read for Designers

For web designers, especially those catering to small businesses, the clarity and effectiveness of your typographic choices can significantly influence user experience and engagement. Type Matters! equips you with the knowledge to make those choices confidently.

  • Enhanced Readability: Clear, readable text ensures that visitors to your website can easily consume the content, leading to better user retention and engagement.
  • Professionalism: Attention to typographic details signals professionalism and can help establish trust with your clients.
  • Brand Identity: Effective typography supports brand identity, helping to convey the right tone and personality for the businesses you design for.


Jim Williams’ Type Matters! is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to refine their typographic skills. Its practical advice, detailed explanations, and visual examples make it a go-to guide for both novice and experienced designers. For web designers in Harrogate and beyond, this book is a treasure trove of insights that can enhance the quality and impact of your work.

Investing time in understanding and applying the principles in Type Matters! will undoubtedly pay off in the form of more effective and aesthetically pleasing web designs. Whether you’re designing for small local businesses or larger projects, the lessons from this book will help you create typography that truly matters.

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