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How to choose the best fonts for your website (5 tips and why it matters)

14 May 2023

When it comes to choosing the best fonts for websites, it can be mind-boggling. There is so much terminology and so many choices, that it can be hard to know where to start.

On top of that, there is a lot to think about when you are designing your website generally – images, layout, copy, colours, to name a few. Getting all these design elements to hang together can be overwhelming.

So let’s make the choice of your font a little easier.

Because your font becomes the glue that holds a lot of the design pieces together. 

Your fonts will help establish a consistent brand identity, make your content more readable, and create a visually appealing experience for your visitors. 

To help you work out which font type works best for your website and overall brand, let’s look at 5 tips for choosing the best fonts for your website, as well as explaining why it matters.

I have also included information about font pairing and the best resources to make it easy.

First of all, let’s start with some of the terminology you will hear around fonts because it will help you use the resources I refer to.

Terminology

When it comes to choosing fonts for your website, you may have come across the terms “serif” and “sans-serif”. These terms refer to the style of the letters in the typeface. A serif font has small lines or flourishes (called serifs) at the end of the strokes that make up each letter. Sans-serif fonts, on the other hand, do not have these small lines or flourishes.

Serif fonts are often associated with traditional or classic design. They have a timeless quality that can give your website a sense of elegance and sophistication. Serif fonts are also considered to be more readable in printed materials such as books and newspapers. This is because the serifs help guide the reader’s eye along the lines of text, making it easier to read.

Some examples of serif fonts include:

Times New Roman, Garamond, Baskerville, Georgia, and Courier New

Sans-serif fonts, on the other hand, are more modern and streamlined. They are often used in contemporary or minimalist designs. Sans-serif fonts have a clean, simple look that can be easy to read on digital screens. This is because the absence of serifs means that the letters are more uniform in shape, making them easier to distinguish at smaller sizes.

Examples of sans serif fonts include:

Arial, Helvetica, Proxima Nova, Futura, and Calibri

Canva has a great blog post to show you examples of different brands which use serif and san serif fonts.

Where To Start To Find Your Best Fonts For Websites

As I have mentioned before choosing fonts can fast become overwhelming so let’s start with the basics.

Tip 1: Start With Your Brand

You need to choose a font that aligns with your brand’s values and target audience. Think about the type of website you’re building, and what mood you want to evoke with your font. 

Generally, serif typefaces are used to create a more formal and elegant tone. This might suit a law firm wanting to convey a professional trustworthy tone. As opposed to a toy store which might choose something more fun aimed at parents and children. 

Your font selection should be in line with your brand’s identity. Make sure to choose a font that communicates the right message to your target audience.

Website Font Tip - consider your brand

Tip 2: Keep It Simple

When it comes to fonts, less is more. Avoid using too many fonts, as it can make your website look cluttered and unprofessional. Stick to one or two fonts, and use them consistently throughout your website. This will help establish a sense of continuity and make your website look more polished.

Website font tip - keep it simple

Tip 3: Prioritise Readability

Your fonts need to be easy to read, especially for longer blocks of text. Avoid using overly decorative fonts that distract from your content. Instead, choose fonts that are clear and legible, even at smaller sizes. Popular sans-serif fonts like Arial and Helvetica are excellent choices for readability.

Tip 4: Think About Contrast

Contrast is an important consideration when choosing fonts for your website. You want to make sure that your font colour stands out against your background colour. A high-contrast combination, such as black text on a white background, is a safe choice. If you want to get more creative with your colour choices, make sure to test them out to ensure they are still readable.

Website font tip - consider contrast

Tip 5: Test Your Fonts

Once you’ve chosen your fonts, it’s important to test them out on your website to make sure they look good in practice. Be sure to test your fonts on different devices and screen sizes to ensure that they are legible and look good on all platforms. If you’re using a content management system like WordPress, you can easily preview your fonts before publishing your website.

Font Pairing

Pairing fonts can help you create a cohesive and visually appealing design for your website. However, it can be tricky to know which fonts work well together. Here are my suggestions to help you pair fonts effectively:

  • Choose one font for headings and another font for body text.
  • Pair fonts with contrasting styles (for example, a serif font with a sans-serif font).
  • Use fonts from the same family (such as bold and regular versions of the same font).
  • Experiment with font sizes and spacing to create a balanced design.

Best Font Pairing Resources

If you’re struggling to find the perfect font pairing, don’t worry! There are plenty of resources available to help you. Here are some of the best font pairing resources I recommend:

  • Google Fonts: Google Fonts used to have a font pairing tool that allowed you to easily find and pair fonts. It doesn’t have it any more, but it’s still a great point of reference for you to look at to find fonts which will be widely available for you to use on your website
  • Fontjoy: Fontjoy uses artificial intelligence to suggest font pairings based on your preferences.
  • Typ.io: Typ.io showcases real-life examples of font pairings used on websites.
  • Canva Font Combinations: Canva has a font pairing tool that suggests font combinations based on the mood and theme of your design.

In Conclusion

Choosing the best fonts for websites is a fundamental element of your website creation process. By following these tips and considering your brand, keeping it simple, prioritising readability, thinking about contrast, and testing your fonts, you’ll be well on your way to creating a visually appealing and engaging website. Remember also to consider font pairing to create a cohesive design, and utilise the many resources available to make it easy.

Fonts may seem like a small detail in website design, but they can make a big impact on the overall user experience.

Your fonts can help communicate your brand identity, make your content more readable, and create a visually appealing design that keeps visitors engaged. By taking the time to carefully choose and pair your fonts, you can ensure that your website stands out from the competition and creates a positive impression with your audience.

Remember to have fun with the design process and experiment with different font combinations until you find the perfect fit for your brand and content.

And if you’d like more help understanding how to make successful design and fonts for your website to help you bring in more clients and cash, you can access my Profitable Website Kit for just £39.

Happy designing!

Vicky Etherington

Vicky Etherington has been running her own online marketing agency since 2003, and in 2015 transitioned to working with coaches and therapists to teach them how to create their own client-attracting websites. 

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Posted in: Website tips

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