November 4th, 2008 / Ross Johnson / 58 Comments

25+ Sites that Use Typography As The Only Design Element

Ever since I heard about the study of typography I was fascinated by it. Upon the word “typography” it clicked for me, “how interesting… the study of type, typefaces, and the design that is shaped by it.”

On the web we face some typographic challenges and limitations, the typefaces, font smoothing, and control we have over all typographic elements is inconsistent at best. However that hasn’t stopped several great designers from using typography as the only significant element of design on their websites. They found a way to create beautiful and stunning visuals with out complex graphics, shading, color changes, backgrounds, etc… they let the type speak and the results are amazing.

Astheria

A Working Library

Quadrifolia

The Deck

Sofamade

Seed Conference

Daniel Mall

Erratic Wisdom

Mark Boulton

Rikcat Industries

Danny Blackman

201 Created

Huge, Inc

Daring Fireball

Vlourenco

Behance

Type Sites

TypeTweets

Objectified

I Love Typography

AIGA Student Design Competition

Garrett Dimon

Monty Lounge

Monday By Noon

AIGA New York

Upstart Blogger

Did I miss any? Leave them in the comments and I will add them to the list.

58 thoughts 25+ Sites that Use Typography As The Only Design Element

  1. Jon Tan [http://jontangerine.com/] has some extremely well researched, considered, and written articles on Typography. His site is also beautifully presented.

  2. I thought about Jon Tan, he does have a great site and some wonderful typography. Ultimately I left it out because I wanted the sites to be have 99.99% of the focus on type and Jon’s main photo seemed to take away from it feeling like an “all type” sort of site.

    Thanks for the suggestion though.

    ross
  3. Great post. Upstart Blogger and Monty Lounge are the ones that stand out for me.

  4. Thanks Hannah, your site looks like a great “typographic design” type of site as well. I will add it to the list later tonight.

    ross
  5. Thanks! It’s a work in progress modification of one of the Upstart Blogger wordpress themes.

  6. Heres a typography related site I have been working on. http://www.lettersandsymbols.com
    Still a work in progress but thought I would share. Feel free to comment.

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  8. Nice list, thanks. Designing with just type is tough, great to see some examples of it done well.

  9. uhm…

    SOFAMADE – Are you different?
    HUGE INC – Why We’re Different

    are these sites different?

    peter
  10. @Peter – Your comment definitely made me chuckle up some coffee. Very funny discovery.

    I am not sure why, but I have seen lots and lots of companies of all different types talk about “why they are different” in their marketing materials.

  11. Great selection. I like http://andrewpendrick.co.uk for a lovely example of using typography.

  12. Wow…great post! Very intesting websites using typography, creative as well. i love sites like this. They have a different approach to design.

    Thanks!

  13. Another type-only site design is Metadesign

    http://www.metadesign.com/

    Check it out.

    bwc
  14. @JoeClark – I would assume not, but I don’t know if chopped tofu would be good or bad so I can’t really answer that question 😉

    I do like your site but the design has a heavy influence by your photographs does it not?

    This was a reason I opted not to include Jason Santamaria’s new site as well… Beautiful typography but it wasn’t the only element used for design.

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  16. Modula (http://www.modula.fi) has also a text-only interface. The design is available as a free WordPress theme.

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  20. very nice thaxs, I wonder if some client will buy a site like that.. who knows.

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  22. what about one of the smallest website on the planet ?
    http://www.google.com

    Google use only typo (not very nice, but terribly efficient!)
    😀

  23. This is a great post. @Voyages… Google is a good add, but not very pretty

  24. Lovely roundup! I always appreciate when people do more with less. :)

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  26. wow, man that’s pretty unique article and selection! Bookmarking this – thanks mate :)

  27. Great idea make this list with webdesign who is create only with font.

  28. Nice list, Ross. Unless you’re opposed, I think I’ll link to it from our daily Twitter stream, @Pinch_Bespoke. Well done. I’ve got a few more to add but will e-mail you directly.

    Kindly,

    Eric Hillerns

    Pinch. A Design Office.
    http://www.pinch.nu
    http://www.pinch.nu/bespoke
    http://www.twitter.com/Pinch_Bespoke

  29. I do occasionally post photographs, yes. Man does not live by words alone.

    I see I made your obscure podcast.

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  32. Upon reinspection, six of your 25 candidates use photography or illustration.

  33. Excellent article. Thank you!

  34. Awesome article! It gives me a lot of inspiration about how awesome web typography can be when executed properly!

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  38. This is my first visit to your website and looking on, I’m impressed! Great design! I like your content!

    Ann Torres

  39. Nice, lovely design. Great collection.

    Kimberly Ventura

  40. Nice collection, All sites looking very nice.

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  42. Good article. All sites looking very nice and simple design .Thank you!

  43. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from these sites, and from your own, to create my new blog design. If you like classic British typography, particularly Gill Sans, then it may be worth a visit.

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  45. very great list you have. i like the monty lounge design, simple.

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  47. Thanks to adding up the list. Love it.. people now seems want another simple design list here.

  48. We were looking for a copywriter and come across this guy – lovely simple site.

    http://www.theworddepartment.co.uk

    H Miller

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