When customers are viewing your website, you want them to be able to read and understand your message no matter the device they’re using. One of the first parts of the website visitors will see is the font you've chosen. This means the font is one of your first opportunities to make a good first impression.
Below are six factors you need to consider to choose the best font for your website.
Associations and Meaning
When people see fonts they sometimes associate them with certain emotions. Curlz MT might make someone associate your text with a more lighthearted, silly feeling. Typewriter may be more nostalgic and something like Chalkboard is associated with school and learning. Keeping these ideas in mind, if you’re running an accounting firm, fonts like Curlz or Chalkboard isn’t going to lead to appropriate associations for your company. You want to make sure you are conveying the right message when you are picking your font.
You should also look at the color of your font because certain colors symbolize certain emotions. For example, red symbolizes love, vitality and energy while green symbolizes success as well as growth. It is also a good idea to not overload your content with lots of colors because it will overwhelm the reader, which may cause them to leave you website early. However, if you are using color in your fonts you want to make sure they fit the message you’re trying to convey.
You should also keep in mind whether your site will be viewed locally or globally. Color may mean one thing here but something entirely different in another part of the world, so make sure you’re aware of your potential audience and the meaning your color choices could have for them.
16px is usually the default size for body copy, so anything smaller than that will likely be difficult for site visitors to read. You also want to be aware of a font’s thickness. With titles and headers, you typically have more flexibility. For body copy, you want to avoid fonts that are very thick and may be difficult to read. It is best to choose a thinner font that is easier to read.
Serif or Sans Serif
Serif is a typeface that has lines at the end of the letters and sans-serif is a typeface without the lines. Sans serif has become popular lately and is used often, but serif fonts are typically easier to read. Some sans serif fonts may look nice and be legible on paper, but for the web may be difficult to read. Serif is often used for headers because they larger and easier to read, whereas using serif for smaller body copy helps improve legibility. You want to choose a font that represents your brand well but is also user friendly.
So you’ve chosen this amazing font, it’s easy to read, works for your brand, and creates the right message. If it’s not a common, web safe font you’ll need to make sure everyone is able to view it. This is where typekits come in handy. If you choose a font that isn’t commonly installed on everyone’s computer, like Helvetica is, you’ll want to get a typekit so you don’t have to worry about it displaying properly across devices.
Fonts are not just for words, and words are not the only way to communicate a message. Sometimes the best choice may actually be an icon font. Icon fonts are a great alternative to having to use images for your icons. You can scale up your icon font as large as you want and it will still look pixel perfect without taking up a ton of loading time like an image would. You also can also easily change the color and size of your icon using CSS. If you were using images, you would have to create a separate image for each color and size icon you want to use.
As you can see, there are many ways to convey a message beyond just written content on your website. Icons, font size, color, type are all factors that can either invite people to explore your site futher, or turn them away.