Tips for Choosing the Best Fonts For Your Website

Friday - January 3rd, 2014

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

Tips for Choosing the Best Fonts For Your Website

When designing your brand’s website, there are a number of choices that you will have to make. One of the most important aspects of your website is the fonts that you use. With a wide range of fonts available, it can be difficult to determine how many fonts your brand should use and what types of fonts work best in various situations. With the following guide to choosing fonts for your brand’s website, you will learn more about the types of fonts available to you and how you can both enhance your website’s design and improve readability through the right fonts.

Serif vs. Sans Serif Fonts
The most basic choice when it comes to fonts is serif vs. sans serif. Serif fonts are those that have small lines that protrude off of the ends of each letter. In contrast, sans serif fonts do not have these lines. While serif fonts are more commonly used for printed documents, sans serif fonts are generally easier to read on computer screens. Furthermore, both serif and sans serif fonts convey a certain message to the reader. Serif fonts are considered to be traditional, artistic, intellectual, and personal. Sans serif fonts are modern, crisp, technical, and uncluttered.

How Many Fonts Should I Use?
Your brand should have about five designated fonts:

  • Logo: The first font your brand needs is one for its logo. Your logo font should be unique, which means it is generally not a font that comes installed on one’s computer. Some logos contain multiple fonts, so it is best to use one of the other fonts in your logo as your secondary font.
  • Secondary: Your secondary font is used for headlines and subheadings as well as taglines, decorative text, and special text such as captions and graphics. Your secondary font should also be interesting and unique, drawing the reader’s attention.
  • Tertiary: Your tertiary font is used in instances where your secondary font is not legible. Use your tertiary font for medium length areas of text, such as contact information.
  • Serif: The serif font your brand chooses will be used for longer documents that are printed, as it is more readable.
  • Sans Serif: Finally, your sans serif font will be the main font for your website content as it is easier to read online. You may also use this font for shorter documents that are printed.

Maximizing Readability
There are several ways in which you can maximize readability for the fonts on your website. First, you should choose common fonts, which are fonts that come pre-installed on both Macs and PCs. If you use a font that is not pre-installed, the browser will use a default font instead, which changes the way your website appears to different users.

Font pairing is another important aspect of readability. While you cannot use just one typeface on your website, you should choose fonts that work well together. Finally, consider the size of your fonts. Generally, your main web copy should be set to 12-point or 14-point font, and titles should only be as large as they need to be so they stand out.

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