Website design involves many important elements, such as the color scheme, images, layout, logos, navigation, etc. People often disregard website fonts when creating their website, and that’s not something you should ignore.
Having uniformity in website design for your brand is the key to attracting more visitors. If your brand already has laid out guidelines about the color scheme, text design, font, etc. you should follow them.
If you wish to change the brand design, and you want to know how to choose the right font for your website, you’re in luck! Read on and find out more in our detailed guide!
Serif vs. Sans—The Eternal Dilemma
You need to consider many things when picking a website font, but the first question you should answer is whether you want to go with the Sans or Serif font category. Both are good, based on what you want to achieve.
Serif typefaces have decorative strokes on the ends of letters, while Sans doesn’t have them (Sans means ‘without’ in French). The most popular example of Serif fonts is The Times New Roman. Here are some other Serif recommendations:
• Freight Text
• Noe Display
• Playfair Display
• Crimson Text
• Cormorant Garamond
The most popular Sans fonts include Arial, Futura, Helvetica, etc. Some other worthy mentions are:
• Source Sans Pro
Besides having a cleaner look, Sans fonts are also trendy, flexible, and simplistic. They are minimalistic and choosing them shows you want to cut straight to the chase. You can say that they’re also less formal than their counterparts.
On the other hand, if the effect you’re looking for is charm, formality, and even elegance, you can’t go wrong by choosing a Serif font.
If You Can’t Decide, Stick to the Safe Option
You’ve surely heard of some of the mentioned fonts. Times New Roman, for example, is a classic web-safe font. These fonts have great readability, exist for a long time, and they’re familiar to most internet users.
Web-safe fonts are visible even from computers without particular fonts installed which is why they’re so useful. They display the same font all across the globe because they’re bundled in a web service.
Note that there are many great free web-safe fonts to choose from in the Google Fonts library. Feel free to browse it and find the one that you prefer, that’s one of the ways how to choose a website font.
Combine Up to Three Fonts for Your Website
You’ll likely need more than one font when developing a website. You’ll want to choose fonts that work well together, use them hierarchically, and combine only up to three different fonts.
You don’t want your website to be incoherent, all over the place, and unorganized, which is why you should abide by these simple rules. If this sounds complicated, here are some ground rules to help you with combining fonts:
• The primary font should be the most appealing and attention-catching. You should use it for headings.
• A secondary font should be easy to read because you will use it for normal text (body).
• A tertiary font is to be used on certain website elements, such as calls to action, various buttons, or even parts of the text that you want to emphasize.
Make Good Use of White Space on Your Site
It’s natural to disregard white space since it seems unimportant, but this is a common mistake you should avoid. White space on your website is also an important element you should utilize to your advantage.
The three main techniques you want to use are for altering white spaces are:
• Leading—The space between lines of text
• Tracking—Space between letter groups
• Kerning—Spacing between two letters
If you correctly use these methods, your website will have high readability and visual appeal. There’s no exact answer to how to do that, it has to be done with trial and error, and a graphic designer will notice when the white space feels right.
Don’t Forget the Contrast
Speaking of black and white, there are also other contrasting elements on your website that shouldn’t be overlooked. You need to consider the length, structure, size, and form of elements. In practice, these elements can be capitalization, bolding, italics, varying fonts, etc. Remember to use all of them for emphasis, and better visibility of key phrases or parts of the text.
Mind the Alignment
Text placement is not to be disregarded either. You can align the body to the center, left, or right, but you can also make it justified. Most of the world’s population reads from left to right, and that alignment feels the most natural, especially in the Western hemisphere.
If you’re designing a website to be used in the Middle East, you might want to use the opposite alignment. Besides the direction of the text, you should also mind the distance between the sides of text blocks, i.e., the line length.
Sticking to a 50 to 80 characters line length, with spaces, is your safest bet.
The Font You Select Should Reflect Your Brand Vision and Design
Most people are visual creatures, so your brand vision: design, logos, colors, and even font will leave an initial impression on them. It is up to you to make that impression as positive as possible. The tone matters, not only in speech but also in business. Do you want to appear casual or strictly professional? Will your design be practical or flamboyant? What type of audience do you wish to attract?
Answering these questions can help you immensely in shaping your brand’s design. It’s important that once you choose a style, you stick to it, and make all your website elements uniformly so they match your company’s vision and purpose.
You might be tempted to go all-in and make your website flashy and mesmerizing, but remember that sometimes that can produce a counter-effect. Being moderate is a safe option, whether you’re choosing typography or some other site element.
Don’t forget to test everything before launch, and make sure your font is visible, quick to load, and appealing across all platforms (desktop and mobile).
Clutter can easily sneak up on you, so try to only keep the elements and fonts you need when deciding on a website font.