Design Standards for Web Page Content
Design Style Standards


  • All text should be left aligned
  • All headlines should be left aligned.
    (Left-justified text is the most legible option for Web pages because the left margin is even and predictable and the right margin is irregular. The legibility of your web page will suffer if you set your text in justified or right aligned format.)  
  • Justified text should be avoided
  • All caps should be avoided.
    (Words formed with all capital letters are monotonous rectangles that offer no distinctive shapes to catch the eye. Also, in the custom of the web, all caps is perceived as “shouting.”)
  • Italics should be avoided.
  • (Italic type, at screen resolution, is very difficult to read.)
  • Bolded type should be used sparingly to add emphasis.
  • (Boldface fonts quickly become monotonous, because if everything is bold then nothing stands out “boldly.”)
  • headlines should be no larger than 24 pt.
  • Body text should be no larger than 14 pt.
  • Typeface – Georgia and or Verdana
    (Typefaces such as Georgia and Verdana were designed specifically for legibility on the computer screen; they have exaggerated x-heights and are very large compared to more traditional typefaces in the same point size. These fonts offer excellent legibility for Web pages designed to be read directly from the screen)

Clip Art and Photographs

The use of low resolution (cartoonish) clipart should be avoided.
(Overuse of graphic emphasis leads to a "clown's pants" effect in which everything is garish and nothing is emphasized.)


Use of high resolution graphics, technical drawings and photographs is desired.


Copyright information should always be obtained before copying clip art from the web.
Royalty free stock photography is a wiser choice for a professional look.


Screen readers and other assistive technologies that provide accessibility, are best served by using dark text on a light background with color used only for emphasis. Create simple, clear designs that will accommodate all users.

(Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act [13] (as amended in 1998) requires that Federal agencies' electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities, where this latter class includes both federal employees and members of the public.)
Avoid bold, highly saturated primary colors except in regions of maximum emphasis, and even there use them cautiously.

Background colors and legibility

Black text on white background is most desirable.
The Web is rife with pages whose legibility is marginal due to poorly chosen background color – text color combinations. Text that is hard to read is a hindrance for a fully sighted reader, and certain color combinations make pages unreadable for colorblind users (10 percent of males are partially colorblind).

The legibility of type on the computer screen is already compromised by low screen resolution. Black text on a white (or very slightly tinted) background yields the best overall type contrast and legibility. Black backgrounds are significantly less legible than white backgrounds, even when white type is used for maximum contrast.


Web pages need to have two types of information:

  • Static – information that remains constant (biographical information, class content information, etc.)
  • Current – information that changes frequently (assignments, tests, field trips, calendar, etc.)

Information in brackets and graphics obtained copyright free from the following site:
Web Style Guide

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