Web Design Fonts: How To Choose Fonts for Your Website

Nov 16, 2016 | Website Design

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Kevin Fouche

Web Design Fonts: How To Choose Fonts for Your Website

Posted by Kevin Fouche, Pixel Fish Director

Kevin handles the planning, design, launch and training of every website that Pixel Fish creates. He ensures that every website is highly engaging and aligned with our client’s goals. With over 20 years of design and web industry experience to draw upon, Kevin aims to pass on his knowledge to our clients and like-minded businesses wanting to grow their online presence.

Have you ever considered how to choose fonts for your website? Designing a website requires a lot of decision making, but can also be one of the most enjoyable tasks a person can do for their business. This is where folks can get creative and discover what they want people to see in their business.

Choosing a good font or a couple of fonts (as the case may be) is crucial to the design of not only websites but logos, banners, images of all sizes, videos, and even the products or services being sold. Fonts, in other words, are a key branding tool that are among the first things customers see when they learn about a business.

How To Choose Fonts for Your Website

Many different types of fonts enhance different aspects and visual aesthetics of a business. Serif fonts such as Times New Roman, Trajan Pro, Footlight, Cochin, and Didot provide customers with a feeling of elegance and a classic intelligence upon looking at the name of a business, the title of a book, or when a scientific journal or essay.

The serifs on the ends of the letters are most associated with fonts used to write papers for a class, although if the font is taller like Trajan Pro, the font’s height is stately, creating a feeling of classiness.

Sans serif fonts are like that of Helvetica, Arial, and Calibri. These fonts give a sense of efficiency and directness in a business and are often used in more IT related company names such as IBM. Grocery stores also use the sans serif fonts to portray the same feeling to customers.

The other types of fonts are highly decorative; these mainly fall into one of the two above categories but have such a flare that they get their own section. For example, script fonts are technically serifs but have their own sweeping lines that offer a flowing, feminine feel.  Another example are the science fiction fonts that give off an air of futuristic worlds.

Thirdly are the sharp, knife-like fonts that rock and metal bands use to give their audience a sense of toughness.

Fonts and typefaces make a statement about your business. It is of great importance that plenty of research is done before major decisions are made. This, however, is one of the most fun parts of the job! There are literally thousands of fonts to find online! All that needs to happen first is to do some research and figure out what you want to be highlighted about your business.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your business in order to determine the best font or fonts for you!

Step One: What is the name of your business?

Asking this question is particularly important as the title may already lend itself to a particular font choice. For example, look at clothing boutiques and department stores such as Macy’s, H&M, New York and Company, and others.

Most of their font choices are a stately serif paired with a script font, or they are a bolder, rounded, and more handwritten choice paired with a sans serif font style. These stores wish to portray a sense of elegance and uniqueness in an effort to sell their stylish wares.

Here, a tall, refined, serif font such as Cinzel or Trajan Pro paired with a script font such as Snell Roundhand portrays to the consumer base that their clothing line is exquisite and well worth the price, or if the items are on sale, a fantastic deal!

Step Two: What is the product or service you are selling? What do you want to be showcased about the product or service being sold?

Music album and book cover designers use fonts to portray how they want the final product to be seen. What do you see if you look at band names such as Megadeth or Metallica? Any soft script fonts? Nope! These bands’ fonts have hard edges that look dagger sharp. Why? These bands are what is known as thrash metal and hard rock; therefore, they must illustrate themselves as such. Take a look also at book covers for science fiction novels. Unless they are minimalist in design, do you see any plain Courier, Arial, or Times New Roman for the title on the cover or spine?

Not likely! Save those fonts for inside the book; something like Ikarus Regular, Masque, Silom, or Phosphate needs to go on the outside. This is because these fonts are made to draw readers to the cover and hope to the book itself. They are bold; they make a proud statement that says to consumers, “Pick me up! Take a look inside!”.

The same is true for your website and business; you want to draw people in, read your work, and see what you are trying to sell. You don’t want them to be bored or overwhelmed. Pay attention to different businesses and how their font choices work for them.

Step Three: What draws your eye to the product or service? What keeps you inspired to work with it?

We are undoubtedly drawn to unique designs that fit perfectly to what is being sold or read about. Good design keeps us inspired to work on our craft; whether we are drawn to delicate lines or bold ones, subtle colours and patterns or something louder, choosing the right font or set of fonts can help us keep working away at what we want.

So what draws your eye? What do you like in a good font?

There are many themes to go with: classic typewriter, tall and skinny serifs, sans serifs, handwritten, script, calligraphy, stencil, edgy, pen and ink, and many more! This part is, of course, completely up to you and your tastes. Need some help deciding?

We don’t blame you! Contact us today to find out more about how fonts can help your website flourish!

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Kevin Fouché, Pixel Fish Director