Building a website requires more than a great idea and a simple layout. Choosing the color scheme, design, and even the right font can make all of the difference when it comes to building a successful and thriving online presence today. Whether you are creating a website of your own or building a website for an existing business, knowing how to pick fonts for website design is essential for the best outcome possible in any market or industry.
Why are fonts important in web design?
The typography of web design is a major aspect of building a website, whether crafting a traditional portfolio site or an expansive online community. When you visit a website for the first time, you will be immediately presented with the overall aesthetic and messaging the business and brand intend for you to see.
First impressions matter, especially when it comes to building a website. If you visit a website that is difficult to read or one that utilizes colors inappropriately, making it difficult to read any text on the site, you are much more likely to leave the site in search of an alternative resource. When you are designing email campaigns or launching a brand new promotional ad via social media, selecting a familiar font for your brand is a must for branding purposes and to help maximize your brand's online visibility.
Selecting and implementing the appropriate font(s) on a website can make or break a website's ability to achieve success. Additionally, using a font that is most relevant to your business and brand can also significantly increase your chances of resonating with the target audience and demographics you intend to reach. Understanding the ins and outs of fonts can help you to identify the best font for a website for any purpose, whether it is a website developed for fun or for profit.
Typeface vs font
Before you begin searching for websites for fonts or trying to locate the best font for your business and brand, it is first important to familiarize yourself with the difference between both fonts and typefaces. When you think of the word font, you may think of an all-encompassing image of the actual letters you are interested in using. However, a font itself typically references the actual file that holds the typeface, or the collection of letters and numbers in a specific design. Compare the definitions of the two below:
So, to wrap it up, before you create a website, learn the difference between both fonts and typefaces to ensure you have an understanding of what you are looking for and need for your website and online presence.
Sans vs serif
Another element of choosing fonts and understanding them when working online is to know the difference between Sans and Serif fonts. When you think of fonts, you have likely heard of the term "sans serif" or "serif" at least once, especially if you have ever taken a typing or computer class (even in school). Sans and serif fonts provide unique features and distinguished looks that can help you on your journey to find the best font for website development projects of your own.
Serif fonts typically appear more classical in nature, and include fonts such as Times New Roman and Georgia. All serif fonts include small lines or dashes towards the end of each letter included in the serif typeface. Strokes and lines added to each letter can provide an elegant appearance to the typeface, making them optimal for book printing and for official documents.
Sans fonts are fonts and typefaces that include similar letters to serif fonts, but without additional lines or strokes to add a classical touch to each of the letters and numbers included in a singular typeface. Sans fonts often appear more modern, clean, and free from potential markup, which makes them optimal for newer websites and those who are interested in streamlining their online presence.
How to choose the best font for your website
Once you are familiar with what a font is and how fonts are used to convey messages and even develop brands, you may be wondering how to go about finding the best font for a website of your own. While there is no one simple and straightforward solution or answer, there are a few steps to take and keep in mind to help you find the fonts that are right for your business and brand.
Define Your Purpose or Mission
When you want to create a website or online presence, you will need to know why. What purpose will your website serve and why is it useful to those you intend to reach?
Consider your target audience
Before settling on a font and typeface that is right for your website, consider the audience you intend to reach along with the overall purpose or mission you have set for your site and online presence. For brands that intend to reach an audience that is older or even elderly, using strong, bold, serif (or traditional sans serif) fonts may work best. If you have a brand that is funky, unique and loves to play around with messaging, you can have a bit more fun when it comes to finding a silly font, even if you choose a typeface that is unique and one-of-a-kind.
When you choose to keep your target audience in mind while searching for and selecting fonts for your business and brand, keep the following in mind:
- The age range of individuals you intend to reach
- The location/zip code/neighborhood of the individuals you intend to reach with your website and online presence
- The gender of those you wish to appeal to with the typeface(s) you select for your website
- Various hobbies and/or interests of your prospective customers and clients, which may help you in your journey to finding the best fonts possible
- How your audience will find or discover your website based on the type of products or services you have to offer
Envision the message you wish to convey
Another way to help with picking out the best font for website projects is to envision the message you wish to convey to your target audience. Are you trying to drum up business and walkthrough traffic for a local service provider, or are you working on cultivating a world-class brand that is known by everyone from around the world? In order to find a typeface that is genuinely appropriate and fitting for your business and brand, you will need to consider and set goals while envisioning the message you wish to convey with your new venture.
Having a solid message and tone in place for your business and brand goes a long way, whether you are building a website, choosing a logo, or even selecting the font and typeface that is ideal for your online presence.
Find a web-friendly font
If you have plans to change fonts in HTML or if you enjoy complete control and flexibility when it comes to managing your font choices and your typefaces online, you should seek out a web-friendly font. Web-friendly fonts are fonts that can be utilized on all websites around the world globally without loading or display issues. While most generic and web-friendly fonts can be loaded with every web browser and device today, there are also many alternative font websites that require additional scripts and plugins to work. Some of the most web-friendly fonts to consider using if you are just getting started with fonts and typefaces for the first time include:
- Times New Roman
- Trebuchet MS
Compare font websites
Not all font websites and online directories are the same, which is why it is so important to take the time to research and compare your options before you begin downloading and installing new fonts of your own.
Whenever you are in the market for new fonts, keep in mind that while some fonts are free to download and use, others are only available for a premium price, while some may require you to provide written credit in order to use the font for your own business venture. In order to find the best fonts for your business, take the time to compare some of today's top font websites to find an online community and resource that is right for you and all of your font downloading and installation needs.
Best fonts for websites
Once you begin designing a website, you will need to choose which fonts and typefaces you would also like to install and use throughout your site. Finding the best fonts for websites is subjective, as not all fonts appear or are used in the same manner. Knowing where you can find the best font for website development projects can help you to save time as you streamline your efforts in seeking out and selecting the typography you wish to use for your latest website.
Finding the best fonts online is subjective, although there are many different communities and platforms that are known for the font libraries they offer today. Some of the most well-known font providers and websites for downloading and finding both recreational and commercial fonts today include:
For those who are just being introduced to the world of fonts and typefaces or for those who are playing around with fonts and testing the limits of their potential and creativity, DaFont is an excellent resource tool to help you get started. DaFont offers thousands of fonts that are categorized based on style, look, and theme. Both free and commercial fonts are available to immediately download from DaFont, making DaFont one of our all-time favorites when it comes to finding a fresh new font for just about any project or web development endeavor.
What started as an overly ambitious web project has since turned into a global phenomenon, at least for those who love and enjoy using fonts on a regular basis. Google Fonts provides nearly 1,000 fonts to choose from which can be implemented onto just about any website with the use of a built-in script. Unlike other fonts, Google Fonts calls for fonts to load based on various scripts. For users, it is even possible to edit the size, blondness, slant, width, and overall thickness of individual fonts before generating the code used to properly display the fonts on your own website.
For those who are in the market for commercial fonts but wish to wade through searching for commercial vs. recreational and licensing issues, Font Squirrel delivers. Font Squirrel is useful for just about anyone who is in the market for printing materials or building websites. Whether you are looking for a font to use for a logo, a book you are printing, or even specific headers throughout your site or an online promotional ad, you can find the typefaces you need with Font Squirrel.
If you are someone who enjoys the simplified nature of searching for fonts and comparing typefaces without all of the fancy design and showcasing, FFonts may be the perfect website for fonts regardless of the type of site and project you are working on. With FFonts, you can browse more than 100,000 available fonts on the site itself without being redirected or linked to another website that is not connected to the FFonts community itself.
For a modern twist when it comes to searching for new fonts and typefaces, give FontSpace a try. FontSpace features an immense library of more than 64,000 fonts in total from users and typeface designers from all around the world. Using FontSpace is simplistic, straightforward, and extremely satisfying, especially for those who enjoy easily categorizing and organizing fonts during their research. While using FontSpace, it is possible to preview fonts immediately, organize typefaces based on popularity and downloads, or even search for fonts that do not require additional licensing or fees to get started with the typeface right away.
A unique choice for this list, Unblast takes a bit of a more modern approach to sharing and displaying fonts for users before they download them. With Unblast, you can preview fonts on various backgrounds and with unique designs to help determine if the typeface is right for your own brand and the logo you envision for your business. You can use Unblast for more than just browsing and downloading fonts, too. Unblast also provides valuable insight into specific fonts and typefaces based on the profession(s) and industries you plan to represent with the use of your new fonts.
Choose the best font that fits your brand’s tone
Selecting a font that fits your brand's tone is always recommended, regardless of the type of business or brand you represent. A font that appears too cheery, silly, or even hand-drawn while representing a white-collared corporate entity may not be taken as seriously as an entity that chooses to implement bold and modern sans serif fonts.
If you are unsure of where to begin when it comes to selecting the best font for your brand based on tone, take time to research and compare existing businesses and companies in the same industry as you. Research and compare marketing efforts, logo designs, color schemes, and ultimately, the fonts were chosen to best represent your existing competition. The more familiar you become with your competition, the easier it will be to choose a voice and a brand image that is right for you and the customers or clients you intend to reach.
Not only does Mailchimp offer excellent and updated web design tips, but it is also useful as an all-in-one marketing resource, designed and developed to help optimize marketing campaigns and automation management solutions. Whether you are thinking of building a website to promote a local service you offer or if you intend to sell products and create a brand that is known internationally, Mailchimp is the one-stop shop solution that has a service for just about everyone.