The final two chapters of The Principles of Beautiful Web Design offer less how-to and more tips and tools. If the words serif, sans-serif, and Verdana are new, then I highly recommend reading chapter four through. If PNG, royalty-free, and GIF transparency do not ring a bell, read through chapter five.
Regardless of if these topics are brand new or old school for you, here are some useful websites and a few quick notes that might be handy.
Web Safe Font List
These fonts are consistently available across Windows and Mac platforms and usually other OSs as well.
- Arial Black
- Comic Sans MS
- Courier New
- Times New Roman
- Trebuchet MS
- Font Squirrel - free fonts for commercial use (when filtered)
- Google Font Directory - CC licensed fonts with an API to embed in websites
- CSS3 Please! - experimental use of CSS3 inline on website
- WhatTheFont - upload images of a font used to have their system auto-identify it
- DaFont - another index of free fonts
Generally try to pair a headline in one font family (ie serif, sans-serif, handwritten, fixed-width, or novelty) with the rest of the text in another font family. Avoid using more than two typefaces for a website.
Image Choosing Questions
Make sure you can almost always answer "yes" to at least two of the following questions:
- Is it relevant?
- Is it interesting?
- Is it appealing?
- Do not get them from Google Images! Should be a no-brainer, but definitely worth mentioning based on how common it is. This is almost always copyright infringement.
- stock.xchng - a source we have used for year, just be sure to double-check the license