Fonts Make the Site

Author: Kevin Moe
Date: November 15, 2013

When choosing fonts for your website, you want to make sure you are using the most legible and reader-friendly font possible. There are literally thousands of fonts to choose from, and the task can seem daunting. Here are some tips for choosing the right font for you.

  • Consider sans serif. A serif font is denoted as having small lines extend from the ends of individual letters. It is considered more legible in print than sans serif, or those without lines. However, for digital media, sans serifs are preferred, as serifs can tend to look muddy on a screen, hampering their legibility.
  • Let the personality of your site dictate the font you choose. If you are aiming for a professional look, you will want to stay away from “fun” fonts like Comic Sans. Helvetica is a safe choice. It is legible and most computer users are familiar with it.
  • Study up on fonts that you are thinking of using. Comic Sans is almost universally reviled. If you had been considering it for a “fun” site, you might not be aware of the backlash it could cause from your visitors.
  • Be aware that some browsers are not compatible with certain fonts. If you have an obscure font you are longing to use, it is best to check out how it looks on several different browsers. If it works fine in Chrome but doesn’t show up in Firefox, you will have a problem.
  • Be mindful of your background. Dark type on a light background provides the best legibility for viewers. If you are thinking of reversing type to have a light font on a dark background, remember that spindly fonts will be hard to read. Consider fonts with thicker strokes in these instances.
  • Don’t overuse too many fonts on one page. Having more than three different fonts on a page looks confusing and is not aesthetically pleasing to viewers. Stick to two fonts at the most.

There are many others tips available for selecting appropriate fonts. Here are some sites you can check out:

How to select the right font for your website

5 principles for choosing and using typefaces

Choosing fonts for your responsive website

Which font should I use for my web page?

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