Web Design Series 101

Don’t Go Font Crazy

There are thousands of fonts, and it seems impossible to choose the right one.

For many, the decision tends to be an aesthetic one. I know, there are so many beautiful fonts, it can be difficult not to get swayed by them!

However, choosing a font that simply looks pretty can often spell trouble down the line, especially when used on your website.

While they might seem like an insipid feature, fonts are extremely important when it comes to a visitor’s experience using your website. They have a big job to do, and that job is crucial to how you communicate with your customers.

What makes up a large portion of your website? Your website copy.

Written content is one of the main sources of information that your visitors will be engaging with. It’s such a vital component of your website when it comes to delivering value to, and connecting with, your customers. It’s crucial you get it right.

And you can’t have written content without having a font.

You could have the best copywriter in the world, who uses their word wizardry to transform visitors into customers. This copy could be fine-tuned to speak directly to your audience, connecting with them, compelling them, and making them feel like your brand really gets them.

But what if your font is simply too hard to read?

Those wonderfully woven words quickly become nothing more than empty letters to scroll past. All that content written especially for them gets barely more than a glance. Worse still, it could even cause a visitor to abandon your website altogether.

Choosing a font for your website should be done carefully, and with your customers in mind. They will be the ones reading your content.

I stick to these three simple rules when choosing a website font:

1 – Two is the sweet spot

That’s right, you don’t need to pick just one! In fact, two fonts can go really well together, when done right. A good rule of thumb is to choose one font for the headlines, and a second for the main content. If your chosen fonts work well together, your written content is really going to shine.

Always ask yourself, are these fonts compatible or combative? You don’t want your fonts to distract from your message. If both fonts are completely different to one another, they can end up jostling for attention. This prevents you from creating a clear visual hierarchy for your customers to follow.

At a push, you could choose a third font, but you should reserve that for very specific content that you want to make stand out. This could be something like a quote or a special offer that you want to highlight for your customers.

2 – Balance beauty and function

No matter what font you choose, it must be legible. There are a lot of font choices that might look great in theory, but if you use them in the main body of your content, they make it impossible to read. That’s definitely not something you want happening!

So how do you tell what kinds of fonts are readable?

Simple is best. Fonts with less going on are always going to be easier to read. Sans serif fonts are commonly used. They’re the fonts you’ll typically see on a lot of websites due to their high readability. While that might sound rather boring, your customers won’t be thinking that when they’re able to read your amazing content.

Another important thing to remember is that your customers will be viewing your website on all types of screens. Having a clean, versatile font is going to ensure that your content is readable all the way from a PC down to a small mobile device.

3 – Keep it cohesive

Last but not least, does your chosen font match your brand personality? For example, a company that sells DIY tools is unlikely to go for a handwritten style of font for their website.

Barry the budding electrician probably isn’t into calligraphy (well maybe not today), so if he was scrolling through “Drill Bitz R Us”, he wants to be able to read the part numbers clearly and look at specs.

He also wants to feel reassured this company knows what they’re talking about. If their font choice suggests they’re into selling fancy fountain pens, his trust meter is likely to drop a bit.

Make sure that the fonts on your website are speaking in the same tone that your brand does. Think about the emotions you want your readers to feel when they read your copy, and how that ties in with your overall brand identity.

Do your website fonts follow these three rules?

Font Resources

Free Google Fonts

Purchase Licensed Fonts (you need desktop and web licesnses)
Creative Market
My Fonts

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Hey there! It's Lisa! I'm over 10 years into this whole website design thing and I've been around the block with digital strategy, website design, automation, email marketing and social media.

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