Can Futura be used for a website? Specially as a body text?

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cheetu's picture
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Joined: 27 Feb 2013 - 6:41pm
Can Futura be used for a website? Specially as a body text?
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I was wondering if I could use Futura family for a website. It's not legible enough to be body text. Please help!

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Bert Vanderveen's picture
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Joined: 13 Jun 2004 - 8:19am
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Why not? But you should study print examples to ascertain the way you should compose. Eg the original Futura has long ascenders and descenders and ‘likes' ample linespacing.
Longer stretches of text may be problematic if the word count is on the high side, but short lines aren't okay either. Futura is a high bred workhorse typeface that needs a lot of attention.

In your example the full caps headings are awful, they need more letterspacing and subtle kerning. The body text appears to be unhinted, ergo very inconstistent in colour. Needs a lot of work, or searching for a better source of webfont.

But I do like Futura.

K.C. Thompson's picture
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Joined: 22 Aug 2011 - 9:32pm
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Web font versions of Futura exist, so yes, it can be used for web sites.

As for legibility, if it is set properly (decent type size, leading, kerning, color), it can be perfectly legible.

cheetu's picture
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Joined: 27 Feb 2013 - 6:41pm
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@Bert Vanderveen Thank you so much! Your feedback is so helpful and accurate. I agree, Futura needs a lot of attention. I'll work on the suggestions you made and see if I can make it look clear and aesthetically appealing. I was a little hesitant because I wanted to do justice to it and was contemplating if it would be too subtle and delicate for a website. It's a lot harder to make it work for the web plus that color makes it look finer.

cheetu's picture
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Joined: 27 Feb 2013 - 6:41pm
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@kthomps5 Thank you for your suggestion! I will work on making it more legible.

Peiran Tan's picture
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Joined: 11 Dec 2012 - 2:51am
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Yeah, of course. People also use Comic Sans. Apple also uses Helvetica as UI typeface.

If you set your Futura to 48pt and positive tracking, everyone can see it. We say it’s not “legible” only when you try and compare a 12pt/16pt Futura and a 12pt of, say, 12pt/16pt Sabon. There’s no only one correct way to “use Futura for a website;” there’re millions of way to use it.

Yet often times people use incorrectly. Not that it can’t be used on a website; finding that millions of correct way – that’s the problem.

Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
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Nothing here indicates bad hinting, save for perhaps the treatment of the B across weights. That’s nitpicking though, and I don’t even know what system this is rendered on. Linux? If that is the case, font hinting instructions doesn’t work anyway – the FreeType rendering engine handles all the interpretation.

Typography-wise, if you are setting text at this size, you need more contrast between background and text. It would also be wise to track the text a little bit, but you cannot do that reliably yet without modifying the font file. If you are set on Futura, I would first and foremost set it much larger. 5 pixels to the x-height is miniscule.