Tips For Choosing The Perfect Web Font
A lot of time and effort goes into creating a great website, from the layout to the navigation and the colour scheme. The choice of font is also crucial to create a site that feels unified and coherent. However, sometimes the importance of selecting the right font can be overlooked.
The wrong choice of typeface can fail to convey the right tone of voice for the brand. More importantly, it can make the site a chore to engage with, and potential customers will soon look elsewhere. Here’s a look at what you need to consider to make the font work with the website.
Find a font that works with your brand identity
There’s a myriad of choice out there when it comes to font designs, and it can be hard to know where to begin. A good starting point is to consider your brand identity. Is it informal and friendly, professional and serious, luxurious, or cutting-edge? Classic web fonts such as Georgia and Helvetica can convey a timeless sense of reassurance, for example.
Don’t automatically assume that all the fonts available in your word processing program are suitable for displaying on the web., as sometimes a browser won’t recognise it. However, this is less of a problem than it used to be, and the selection of web safe fonts grows every day.
For a more unique font, you would probably need to pay a fee to the makers. However, there’s still a reasonable amount of choice of free fonts, the only drawback being that they will not be exclusive to your website. To avoid a font that is overused, try selecting from the newer releases that won’t yet be in wider circulation.
Stick to a few styles
The term ‘font’ refers to the weight, size, stroke, and width of a typeface, while the term ‘typeface’ refers to the font family, i.e. Helvetica. Where possible, vary the weight and size of the font if you need a piece of text to stand out, rather than choose a different type face.
Sans seif fonts (those without extra strokes on the end of the letter stem) are generally considered best for websites, as they are more legible on low-res screens. Having said that, more expressive fonts work well on the web in short bursts, for headers and sub headers for example.
Some designers refer to the header fonts as an accent font, while the font for the main body of text is called the primary font. There may also be a secondary font for navigation bars and so on, but be careful of any more variation beyond this, as the website can start to look cluttered and inconsistent.
Test for readability
A good web font will strike a balance between being clean and easy to read, and having just that touch of interest to save it from looking too functional and generic.
A font that looks great in a few snippets can read differently in chunks of text, so it’s important to do a test run. Also check out the scalability of the font, by reading your test site across smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops.
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