Font Tips for More Appealing Web Development

Monday, May 21, 2018

The devil may be in the details, but so is effective website development. You may naturally want to focus on the low hanging fruit of graphics and content, but there are many other design elements that, while smaller or more detailed, are equally important. One of these elements is the font you choose for your site. While you can select a standard Times New Roman or Open Sans, your site may benefit from a more careful evaluation of your typography choices. Plus, the font you use is only the start: Line height, font size, white space, and more all contribute to the impact your font makes on the overall design of your site.

font use in web design

Stick with three (or fewer) font types during web development.

Fonts can be exciting, at least for website designers. And that can make it hard to settle on just a few font types for your site. Wouldn’t it look better if every page used a different font to communicate its message? The answer is, probably not. While trying out different fonts can be a good way to determine which one(s) will work best on your site, the reality is that the finished product should have no more than 3 font types. There are several reasons to limit the number of fonts you use:

  • Consistency: Visitors need to sense consistency in your brand so they can trust you to deliver a great experience every time they interact with you.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: It might be fun to add lots of fonts to your site, but the likely outcome is going to be a rather confused and garish looking web design. A messy look is generally an unprofessional look.
  • Confusion: If everything is a different font, then how do your visitors know which information is most important?

Using a maximum of three fonts avoids these problems and delivers a clear and appealing web design to your visitors.

SEE ALSO: Web Design Tips for User Friendly Online Forms

Only use fonts that are easily readable in your web design.

Visual appeal is, of course, critical in effective web development. What a person sees in their first few seconds on your site will determine whether they stay any longer. However, the aesthetics of the site are not the only important elements. A site should be easy to read and understand so visitors can immediately get to know your brand and what you have to offer them.

To that end, focus on using fonts in your web development that are easily readable. For example, overly complicated, fancy, or handwritten fonts tend to be more difficult to read and understand. Instead, stick with fonts that have clean lines, defined shapes, and sufficient spacing between letters. A readable font doesn’t have to be boring: Many creative and beautiful fonts are also very legible. And, in fact, the readability of the font can add to its visual appeal and make it easier for visitors to quickly determine whether your site can meet their needs.

Only use fonts that are compatible across browsers and screen sizes.

Almost as important as readability is how the font performs across browsers and screen sizes. Many fonts change slightly between browsers. Others may function well on a regular desktop screen but lose their spacing or their readability on the smaller screen of a mobile device. Selecting a font without checking its compatibility can spell disaster for visitors accessing your site by different means.

As a result, make sure the font you select looks good no matter where it is used. This may mean sampling the font across a variety of browsers and screen sizes so you can see for yourself how it performs. Certain fonts have also been specifically designed for use on the Internet and are, therefore, designed for broad compatibility. Your web development company should be able to provide you with suitable and safe options for your site.

Select fonts that communicate your brand values and personality.

Hopefully, if you are doing your web development right, you are creating a site that accurately reflects your brand values and personality. And that means embracing design elements that reflect the message you want your target audience to see, whether that be elegance, creativity, humor, tradition, or more. Whether you realize it or not, your font selection will also contribute to the overall feel of your website. And that means you need to choose a font that will communicate your brand values and personality.

For example, thicker fonts communicate strength and reliability, while curvy fonts communicate elegance. Use a skilled web development company to narrow down your fonts to those that most accurately represent your brand. And do not forget about your target audience: Use fonts that show off your brand, but in a way that will appeal to the preferences of the specific audiences you are trying to reach. For some potential font selections, you can browse the libraries at Google Fonts.

font choices for web design, letters

Stick with reliable line heights and proportions in your web design.

It can be tempting to get creative not only with the type of font you choose but also with how it is presented on your website. For example, tweaking the line heights, or the proportions between the font size and the space between the lines, might give your site a unique look. However, it might also make your site more difficult to read, discouraging visitors from exploring your brand any further.

Instead, stick with reliable line heights and proportions (such as making the space between your lines 150 percent of the line height). Such proportions are established and reliable ways of ensuring that your font, whichever one you choose, looks as good as possible on the page. Finally, remember to leave plenty of white space when using your fonts. The same font, when given sufficient white space, can look significantly more appealing than when pressed in among too many other images, widgets, and words.

Choosing and using fonts in your web design should be a matter of careful consideration. The font you choose will affect the overall look and feel of your site. To that end, make an effort to limit the number of fonts you use, select readable fonts that reflect your brand, and stick with reliable line heights, proportions, and white space for a look that is as flattering to your business as possible.


Posted in: Austin Web Design, Web Development, Web Site Maintenance

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