Typography is much more than just a ‘pretty font’, but then you must already know that otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this now.
Undervaluing the importance of the correct font leads to a complete oversight of the benefits of a persuasive, appropriate and effective body of text. To project yourself correctly to your target audience, you need to consider the part your typeface plays alongside your graphics, text content and objective.
We know that’s not the easiest task in the world though, so we’ve put together five of the most important things to consider when exploring the masses of different fonts out there.
What do you want your font to say to you? Are you trying to channel something serious? Keeping things casual? Perhaps you’re after a bit of fun or maybe you just want to keep everything clean and tidy. Whatever it is, there are some fonts that will work and some that seriously won’t. It’s no coincidence that brands from different industries choose a specific and similar style of fonts.
It should be a no-brainer that readability in a font choice is important. If people can’t read your font, you’re not going to be able to communicate anything to them.
Saying that… your body text is the part where 100% readability is completely necessary. Want to test whether your font is readable or not? Make your copy 10px, if you can still read it then you’re on to a winner.
Imagine it, you’ve spent hours trawling your way through hundreds of fonts and you’ve finally bagged yourself the perfect font. You’re overjoyed, the search is over and you couldn’t be happier with your chosen typeface. Then, you place it on your website, send it to all your friends and find that most of them can’t see your font as they don’t have it installed. If you’re using a good font library, or a web-safe font file (OTF or WOFF), then you should be fine… ensuring your chosen font is web safe and can be rendered perfectly in any browser is something that is so easily overlooked, but if you make sure to thoroughly test this then you won’t be in for any nasty surprises later on.
Side note: have you found the perfect font and come across this problem? Turn your text into a graphic and place it on your site that way. (Everyone loves a loophole, right?)
All fonts have their own design, personality and intent. All conveying certain attributes that will either be useful to you or not. Serif fonts are typically traditional, good for historical, safety or reliability. Contrastingly, Sans Serif fonts are confident, clean and modern, whilst Script fonts can add romance, feminism and elegance to your copy.
Here are some examples of font choices per industry sector to give you a general idea:
Finance – Clarendon, Bembo, FF Kievit, Andrew Samuels, Gotham Narrow
Wedding Photography – Roses, Anisha Script, Hunter River, Beautify
Winery – Burgues Script, Adios Script Pro, Darleston
Fashion Blogger – Gotham Thin, Helvetica Neue Thin, Geosans Light
Design Agency – Gotham Black, Montserrat Bold, Helvetica Bold
IT Company – Big John / Slim Joe, Moon, BW Quinta, Simplifica, Pier
Ideally, you’ll be wanting to use two typefaces, one for your body text and one for headlines. Finding the perfect pairing can work wonders for clarity and effectiveness.
An easy way to choose a pair of fonts that will work well together is to combine those from serif and sans serif. Serif is typically great for body copy, whereas Sans Serif is great for headlines.
Creating a clear contrast between the two creates an instant division for the reader.
This is your hierarchy, a clear hierarchy will define your web page and allow your reader to move freely around, being able to take in the most important information instantly.
Obviously, you want the most user-friendly experience of anything that you put out, so here’s how you can use fonts to do that. Guide your readers through your content easily with your font choices. If your fonts are too similar you’re risking losing your readers attention and having them lose what is the most important.
Of course, you do always have the option to use the same typeface and split them up through different weightings (bold, regular etc) and styles (italics etc). This is easy if you’re using a font from a large, extended family.
Ricky says: “We wanted to go with something powerful. A statement. A bold choice that reflected the confidence TIC have in their operation, and their clients have in them.”
If you’re struggling with your font choice, we can help. Get in touch and let us show you how to make the most of your font.