Graphical Headers

Given: The set of fonts which is available in the browser across all platforms is small.
Given: Having seen enough web pages, the fonts on all web pages tends to look the same.
Given: Navigation is often not noticed or ignored when first visiting a webpage.
Given: Different fonts draw attention to the page, changing the look, and attracing more attention in general to the area where these fonts are.

Conclusion: In order to create attractive, unique navigation systems for websites, in some cases, it may be useful to render the headers in graphics, rather than in text. Assuming that proper alternate text which matches the navigation system, there is no concern as far as disabilities limiting persons from having access to the text in the image. Assuming you generate the images with software rather than manually in photoshop or something, adjusting the navigation is simple if you change your mind later on, so there’s no maintenance concern.

As nice as the available fonts may be – Arial, Verdana, etc. – sometimes you need something a bit different. Graphical headers can draw the user’s eye, and with proper image generation, many of the concerns regarding using images for navigation can be avoided.

One Response to “Graphical Headers”

  1. Jon Leighton Says:

    Yes that’s true. You should look into CSS image replacement which means you need not have any img elements where they are not semantic. Also have you heard of sIFR? It’s a Javascript/Flash, acessible method of displaying custom fonts in a webpage.