When you are designing your website, there are several routes you can take. You can opt for an edgy, minimalist, playful, radiant, sleek, or contemporary design.
You need to consider several elements to achieve such a striking design that is also easy to decipher at first glance. These include the colour palette, texture, and imagery. Another factor that’s often neglected is font.
It might seem trivial, but it is critical to ensure your content is readable and accessible. On that note, this article provides a detailed guide on how to pick fonts for your web design.
Picking Your Web Font
Consider your brand personality
I know what you’re thinking, “what has personality got to do with the font in my website design?” Here’s the deal: your font determines how effectively the brand’s message is conveyed to the target audience.
For instance, if you’re running a corporate brand, you’ll want a font that communicates formality, not casualty. Conversely, if your brand is a bit more friendly or casual, the font should relay these warm vibes.
Think about your niche
Another factor that should be considered when choosing the font is niche. This way, you can choose one that represents what your brand offers.
For instance, let’s say you own a vintage bridal store with a contemporary twist. A good combo for such a brand would be a stylish sans-serif font for the text paired with a retro font like Arvo for the headlines. This would help you strike the perfect balance between classic and contemporary.
Pairing different fonts
Regardless of the website you’re designing, there’s a very high likelihood that you’ll use more than a single font. If you’ve chosen this route, there are three basic principles you should comply with:
- Don’t use more than three types of fonts in a single design
- Always choose fonts that complement one another
- Determine a hierarchy for your fonts
In practical terms, the first thing you should do is determine your primary font. This will be the most pronounced font as it will be used for headings.
It would be a good idea to choose a primary font that corresponds to your logo. It should also be visually striking so that it draws attention. Think of fonts like Nunito or Rubic Black.
Once you’ve chosen your primary font, pick a secondary font. This is the font that will be used for the body text. While it doesn’t need to be as appealing as the first, it must be readable. This is particularly important because it determines the legibility of your website’s content when viewed on smaller screens and in longer texts.
The last type is an accent font, and it’s completely optional. The idea here is to focus the reader’s attention on crucial marketing elements like CTAs.
Categories of Fonts
There are four main categories of fonts to pick from. As stated earlier, it’s always good to consider your brand’s voice and niche before choosing any of these. These include:
This is one of the two most popular fonts, the other being the Sans-serif font. What differentiates the two is the presence or absence of “serifs”- the fancy line or taper usually found at the beginning or end of a letter.
Serif fonts do have these decorative lines- a feature that gives the text a traditional and formal look. These are the go-to typefaces for long paper publications, especially book publications. This is understandable as they enable readers to follow the text easily.
Their ornamental character also makes them suitable for web designs. However, the best way to use these fonts is in the additional content features like quotes, headlines, subtitles, logos, and slogans. Here’s a list of Serif fonts to choose from:
- Bookman Old Style
- Arno Pro
- MS Serif
The distinguishing characteristic of Sans-serif fonts is the fact that they don’t have any decorative diagonal lines on the letters. This trait gives them a more minimalist but contemporary look.
These typefaces were the most preferred for a long time due to their legibility on different screen sizes. Furthermore, they rarely cause eye fatigue.
That said, Sans-Serif fonts are best suited for firms that want to convey their modern or innovative character. They represent availability and minimalism, making them a superb choice for brands targeting the younger generation. Examples of fonts that fall under this category are:
- Open Sans
- Trebuchet MS
Decorative and display fonts
This is a big category of versatile fonts, most of which have unique shapes and high ornamentation.
Depending on their structures, these fonts can elicit different emotions from the audience. For instance, think about the fonts used when advertising horror movies. Such typefaces are chosen for their capacity to evoke fear. In the same way, you can use a particular type of font to evoke specific feelings in your audience or convey a particular message.
The easiest way to describe these fonts is that they look very similar to an individual’s handwriting. They look classy and official, with a touch of humour.
The greatest advantage offered by these fonts is their ease of relaying powerful messages. Since some are very decorative and expressive, you can leverage them to elicit positive emotions from your audience or improve how they perceive your brand.
Furthermore, most script fonts are attention-grabbers. So, if you’re trying to improve your brand recognition, they’re perfect for this application.
That said, you should use these typefaces cautiously. Some of them can be so decorative that they hinder legibility. The more sophisticated a particular font appears, the higher the likelihood of being less readable and accessible. Examples of script fonts are:
- Great Vibes
- Black Jack
Designing a website is no mean feat. You have to consider various factors, ranging from simple things like layout to more complex stuff like mobile responsiveness. Another factor that shouldn’t be taken lightly is the website’s font. Chosen wisely, it can draw the right attention and influence customers’ perception of your brand.