Typography is the art of arranging type and type design. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, line spacing, and the adjustment of spaces between groups of letters (tracking) and between pairs of letters (kerning).
Typography comes from the Greek words typos, which means “mark, figure” and grapho, which means “I write.” It is basically the discipline of shaping written information; thus it can be applied to anything which has to do with text, including web design. Authors write the text, designers and typographers manage the typography, and users read through it. An Important Statement: Emil Ruder, a famous Swiss typographer, wrote this statement in 1969 which is applicable to the web:
“Today we are inundated with such an immense flood of printed matter that the value of individual work has depreciated, for our harassed contemporaries simply cannot take everything that is printed today. It is the typographer’s task to divide up and organize and interpret this mass of printed matter in such a way that the reader will have a good chance of finding what is of interest to him.”
It is true—there are millions of websites on the web today that all have information on them represented with text. In most cases, authors do not care how their information is laid out; sometimes they do, which is even worse because of their lack of education in the matter. There are hundreds of websites with yellow text on a purple background with awfully proportioned text in a ridiculous typeface—this should not be the case in the decade of the semantic web,where great tools are easily accessible to designers and developers. The purpose of this article is to impart an understanding of web typography to beginner typographers and designers in order for them to do web design well.
Take a look at the full article at Tecmic Studios; worth a read.