Simple Tips in Choosing a Website Font
Fonts are a very important part of your website’s aesthetics and appeal. Fonts can complement your overall look and even contribute to traffic. After all, no matter how well-written your content is, who wants to read text that requires some squinting or moving your head sideways?
Fonts make for good readability and usability. It shows that the website is professional and well-thought out, and to readers, this can translate into a website they can trust but also like. This goes not just for the font used for the text, but also for the font for the headers and call to action buttons.
The Font Categories
Basically, fonts fall into the following four major categories:
– Serif fonts. Times New Roman is an example of a serified font. It has ledges or lines on the top and bottom of each character. Serif fonts are often considered more formal.
– Sans Serif fonts. Arial and Tahoma are sans serif fonts, meaning they do not have the ledges at the top and bottom of the characters. Sans serif fonts are deemed more modern because of its simpler lines.
– Script fonts. These mimic handwriting and are commonly used for invitations to formal events, as well as headings and quotes.
– Decorative fonts. These are highly elaborate or theme-based fonts, which can range from the very formal to highly whimsical (such as fonts that remind one of Medieval calligraphy, fonts designed as rubber stamp characters, Christmas light bulbs or bamboo sticks).
Some Font Considerations
Here are some tips in choosing the right font for your website:
– Work for readability. Your readers will most like not read your text word for word. Chances are, they will make a quick scan at the first pass. They may decide to go back and read it more carefully if it catches their attention. If your font choice forces your readers to read more slowly, they may just decide to ignore the text and move on. Thus, choose fonts that are simple and very readable. Limit the use of decorative and script fonts to headlines and titles.
– Choose a readable font size. The ideal size would be 12 px to 14 px for the text. This makes for quick scans and scrolling down. Your headings and titles should be big enough to for a quick scan of the page, but not too big that they dwarf the rest of the text. For added readability, use proportional spacing in between the letters.
– Pair fonts for the headline and main body text. Do not use just one font for the entire website. Use at least two or three different fonts and assign each for the main text, headlines and titles. This prevents the entire page from becoming too monotonous. It also makes navigation simpler as readers can easily distinguish the content hierarchy in a page. When choosing the fonts, however, make sure that they complement rather than clash with each other. The simplest pair to work with would be a Sans-Serif/Serif pairing, where the sans serif font is used for the main title and the serif font for the main content.
– Make consistent use of font color. No, you do not have to paint the colors of the rainbow in your website. This results in a cluttered look for the webpage. Look professional and put-together by being consistent in your use of font color. Also, use color to mark the links that the visitor has already opened to simplify navigation.
– Add variation and style. You can use the different font attributes to break through the monotony of a field of text. These attributes include bold, italic, all-caps and underlined text. Use these attributes sparingly, just to direct the eye to a key point or phrase.
– Think of both the font and the background. The choice of the color of the font will depend also on your choice of background. The general rule is that the color contrasts between the font and the background should be high so that the text is more visible. That is why black text on a white background is always a popular combination.
– Consider browser compatibility. Some fonts are not compatible with certain browsers. Go safe by choosing fonts that have been proven to be highly compatible for the more popular browsers.
– Test, test, test. Experiment with different font style, color, size and pairing permutations. See how well these combinations work overall.
About Adaptivity Pro
For SLC web design and web aesthetics, go with the experts. Adaptivity Pro is a premier provider of Utah web design, including visual considerations such as the use of fonts and graphics. Adaptivity Pro also boasts of a crack team of web designers, writers, artists and programmers.