How To Pick The Right Font For Your Website & Branding
When putting together a website, one aspect that is often overlooked is the type of font or typography that is used for the text.
While most people will avoid garish or unreadable fonts, understanding the subtle differences of lettering can make a big impact on the consumer.
Of course, the different aspects of your website, including the style, colour, images, video, and the font work together to create the right impression, the type of font used can assist in getting someone’s attention while blending in with the overall design.
Number of Fonts Available
One reason that many people do not delve very far in selecting a font is the sheer number of them that are available. A seemingly endless list that makes it nigh on impossible to choose the right one for your logo design or website branding. Plus, the mixture of crazy or outlandish fonts, such as the memorable “wingdings” for example, only means that you have to go through one more type before finding the right one for your site.
What follows are a few tips that will help you narrow your focus, so that you can quickly get through the many different fonts available and select the right one for your needs.
3 good examples of different font styles:
The Basics Of Choosing The Right Font
First, you need to choose a font that is relatively safe, meaning that it should not be too fancy or too garish. Instead, you should think about common fonts that do not provoke much of a reaction at all, probably because they are used so often. Google Fonts is often a good place to start looking as these fonts can easily be used on a website without charge.
Research: If you are not sure where to start, then begin by looking at the font selection of rival companies. You can start with those in your industry to see the types of fonts that are being used. Remember, your goal is not to copy them, but rather to get an idea of what is out there and how you can contrast your site from the competition while still staying within the norms of your industry.
Functionality: It’s important to remember that the fonts you choose need to have the right technical features to be of use on your website. It does little good to do all the research only to find that a font you have chosen will not function correctly or as intended on your site. So, be sure that the fonts have the right technical features, so they work.
Families of Fonts: There are five different families of font styles;
- Geometric: Based on geometric forms. Minimal in appearance.
- Humanist: Based on handwriting. Modern and clean in appearance.
- Old Style: Based on older styles of writing. Clean, clear, and easy to read.
- Transitional & Modern: Sleek, stylish, and timeless.
- Slab Serif: Versatile and used in many different types of sites.
When you consider that these consist of 20% of the fonts available are used about 80% of the time, you can understand why they are so popular.
Now that you know the basic types of font, the next step is looking over the five families and choosing the one that best suits your industry. Do you want to convey an old, trusted feeling or perhaps a sleek, modern, and clean appearance? Whatever you choose, you’ll at least know the best family of fonts that let you start.
Different Applications of Fonts
Remember that the font you use will depend on its need. This means that your website may consists of two or more fonts that help you convey the right message. Your font will likely be used in your logo design, your branding, leaflets and print work, as well as prominently on your website and any advertising you do online.
- Display Fonts: Attention-getting, playful, and attractive
- Classic Fonts: Easy to read, informative, and clean
It’s no surprise that display fonts should be used for headlines while classic fonts are better suited for text information. In finding the right fonts, it does take more than simply choosing the right ones for their suitability.
Proper Alignment: A good design for your site will have all the fonts aligned properly from titles, headers, and the body. A design that is not properly aligned will garner attention for all the wrong reasons, so you’ll want to ensure that your design has the proper alignment for the text being used. In addition to your website, consider the proper alignment for your text with business cards and other traditional media. Remember, the fonts you select will play a role in the alignment of the text, so take that into consideration.
Personality: Fonts have sizes, shapes, and personalities, which means that you can use those traits to the advantage of your website and branding efforts. The personality of the font may convey confidence or intelligence, which is perfect for those who run practices, law firms, and the like.
Conversely, you may want to choose a font that denotes friendliness or a sense of fun, such as those used for retail stores, party supply shops, and the like. In addition, confidence may be bolstered if the font is in all-caps.Whatever the case, the fonts you choose should denote the right impression to be effective.
Contrast: If you decide on two different fonts for your site, be sure that they are contrasting, so they stand out. You’ll need to type them together in terms of their size and use to see if they blend well. Some fonts will complement each other while some will not.
Testing: Finally, once you have put it all together, give it a test run with everything in place. This should include the exact size, spacing, colours, and alignment that is used. You may find that everything is better than you expect, or you might run across a horrible clash that must be corrected. Whatever the case, you should test rigorously before approving the final version as user experience is of paramount importance.
It may sound like there are a lot of rules when using fonts, but the truth is that you only need to remember the basic types, how they align, and how they contrast with each other. This will take some experimentation, but the end results will be well worth it as you get the look you want which improves your website and branding.
Posted in the Web Design blog category on November 20, 2018.