So you’ve got your website design sorted, but you’re stuck at the fonts. It’s always the little things that mean so much. It’s similar to renovating a kitchen in your house. You’ve picked out the appliances, cabinets, back splash, and then you have to pick the handles. Your designer asks, “silver or gold?” It’s such a simple question and a very small detail, but it changes the whole aesthetic.
Not only is it just about the color themselves, gold or silver, but how they work with the rest of the kitchen. Gold can portray a timeless style mixed with traditional appliances, but can appear trendy with clean lines and modern fixtures. Within that, there are still different types of gold and silver. And each type bring a different feeling to the room.
Fonts are the same way! They can change the style of your ecommerce site or enhance what’s already there. Nonetheless, the font on your website is arguably one of the most important parts. The content on your website is your message, but font reiterates this. The key is to have your website style, content, and font to all conclusively point to your brand.
Why Do Fonts Matter?
Much like the the words on your website, your fonts communicates a message. It’s similar to when people say it’s not what you say, but how you say it. The way the message is communicated influences the message. Imagine a flyer for a scary house printed in Comic Sans. The “Boo!” would almost seem comical. It just doesn’t work. This creates a disconnect in the message.
Even if your message isn’t impacted, your credibility might be. Think of the biggest celebrity crush you’ve ever had. And what attracted you to that person? Their confidence, their demeanor, their style, or maybe their physical attributes? Either way, you don’t know the person that well. They are merely an image of sexy, cute, thoughtful, mysterious, or whatever else you’ve deemed them to be crush-worthy. Now imagine your 'cute' celebrity crush comes out with a cheating scandal. Don't seem so cute anymore, do they? Their credibility (as your crush) diminishes because they’ve gone completely against the image you’ve given them.
Using a font that goes against your brand image is just like a cheating scandal. It takes away your credibility. Fonts that don’t align with the brand make the website feel off.
Brands are the image you portray about your company to the public, and therefore you can choose how you’re shown. A font is a choice that can make or break this image!
Choosing the Right Fonts
Fonts are easier to think of when you relate them to characteristics. After all, an image is made of many characteristics. Think of it like this: you’re an advertising agency. You want to portray an image and brand that makes you the best advertising agency in your city. What characteristics would the best advertising agency in your city have? Creative, innovative, out of the box, trendy, and modern, may be some that come to mind.
Now think of these characteristics in terms of fonts. Remember, just because you want to come across as creative, doesn’t mean you’re only creative. You can be creative and modern. Now apply this logic to your font types when using multiple different fonts on your site. Not all fonts on your website have to be crazy and out of the box. In fact, too much of one attribute can overstep another. Too much creative might no longer make you modern. It’s a balancing act, and that’s why font combinations are important.
Font Combination Tools
Found a font you like, but don’t know what to pair it with? It can be overwhelming and that’s why there are font combination tools to help you out. Even if you don’t have a font picked out you can always test out different combinations and see if any resonate with you and your brand.
These are few font combination tools we think would be helpful:
2. Make font pairing a game: Type Connection
3. Scroll through some visual inspiration.
4. Looking for popular fonts to seal the deal? Check out Typewolf
Good Font Selections
Let’s look at a few examples of great options just to drill the point home. When in doubt, use a versatile font. There is a method to the madness, but if you don’t have the time or practice, there are a few fonts that you can’t go wrong with. The best part? Websites are editable at any time, so if you do find some time in the future or hire a designer to do the work, your fonts can always be changed to adhere to your brand.
- Open Sans
- Myriad Pro
The Fundamentals of Font Selection
We admit, that was a lot of information. Let’s go over the important aspects of finding the best font for your website.
Message and Credibility
The font you choose is an extension of the message you’re trying to communicate. The actual words on your website are similar to what you say, but the font is how you say it. You can’t give a compliment while laughing - this makes it seem ingenuine. The same applies to fonts. The style of your font should fit the style of your message, or your credibility is at stake.
Every brand is portraying a certain “image”. Make sure your brand shows this at all stages. You can’t show your brand as cool, calm, and collected then have impatient customer service. Use this same thinking with fonts. Write a list of characteristics your brand possesses, and look for that in a font!
And just like all well-rounded people, we have a lot of good attributes. Too much of one good thing isn’t always good anymore. Utilize font combinations to avoid overwhelming your website visitors.
If you’re still lost, just stick with a popular and versatile font. This is the generic rule of thumb if you find yourself extremely stuck.
Author Bio: Debbie Morgan loves everything to do with fonts! This is why she created the nifty new font combination tool that helps the team at Bold Web Design pair awesome fonts for their clients. They are leading the way in Web Design in Australia, using the latest trends and their vast knowledge of UI.