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5 Things to remember when choosing a font for web design

December 9, 2013 • By

One of the biggest challenges web designers face is picking out the right font to use in the design. Faced with a plethora of different fonts from the more conventional looking Times New Roman to the more unusual fonts, web designers have to rely on a few rules and their gut feeling to develop a feeling for which font works and which doesn’t.

This article focusses on five things you need to remember when choosing your font, these are the following:

  1. Legibility
  2. Size
  3. Compatibility
  4. Style of Font
  5. Overall web design

Legibility

Perhaps the most important rule when deciding which font to use is the fact that it must be readable, why? Because there is nothing worse than trying to decipher the font on a text, whether it be due to the font size being too small or the font simply being unreadable. Remember your visitors are there to read what you have to say, don’t force them to leave your site due to poor font choices.

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Size

Choosing the right size is almost as important as making sure the font is readable. While the most common font size is around 12px you can easily make your font a little bigger for your readers. Remember Titles should always be bigger than the body of text in a paragraph. It can sometimes be a little challenging to decide what font size is the right one however you can try different sizes and then very quickly determine if the font size is pleasing to the eye or not.

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Compatible with other fonts

You will almost never see a website with just one font, often titles are one kind while text is another kind and links are yet a third kind of font. When choosing the font to use on a website you need to decide whether the different fonts are compatible with each other, for instance if you use a very nice cursive font for the headers then make sure your font choice for the body is compatible with the header.

Similar to my suggestion above about the size, simply try a few different fonts and put them next to each other, trust me once you have them side by side it is much easier to see if the fonts compliment each other or if they are dragging attention away from each other.

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Styling of Font

When deciding on the styling of font there are several things to remember, firstly styling is more than just bold, italic and underlined. The styling of the font also includes things such as the color of the font, as well as the capitalization used in the text. Remember that a very colorful body of text might work well for a daycare center but a law firm might want to use more conservative color choices. Furthermore you should avoid using CAPITAL LETTERS TOO OFTEN, because it just looks very unappealing to the eyes. Unless of course you are yelling then feel free to use CAPITAL letters, just remember everyone gets tired of listening to your yelling after a while.

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Overall design of website

The last thing to remember is that the overall design of the website is just as important as deciding which font to use. As mentioned above the color choices you make are very important, however for the font perhaps even more important is the purpose of the website, for instance if you are creating a site for a retirement home then you want to make sure your text is readable for the older generation, in other words try not to make your text too small.

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In Conclusion

Hopefully, these five suggestions will help make your next font choice easier, just remember that your web design must match your font choices, try not to overdo it, stick with a few fonts and use them throughout the project. While it might be exciting to cram as many fonts and text sizes into the project as possible my suggestion really is don’t, as with so many other things in life it isn’t the quantity of fonts but the quality of the fonts that matters.

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