If you have an eye for design, you know that the small things matter. The tiny, seemingly minute details of a project can make or break it, and this concept is especially true for website design. Building your own website can be challenging and totally absorbing. If you’re already burdened with the tasks of picking a domain name, designing a logo, finding the right images, and setting up your online store, crucial details can easily slip by. One of these crucial details—font design—can change the entire appeal and appearance of your website.
What types of fonts are there?
There are thousands of fonts out there, and generally, they’re divided into four categories.
Serif: Serif fonts have little “feet” attached and are thought to look more traditional.
Sans-Serif: Sans-Serif fonts don’t have any decorative lines at the end of their letters. “Sans-Serif” literally means “without Serif,” so they’re generally thought to look sleeker and more modern.
Script: Script fonts are what we think of as handwritten or cursive writing. Generally, the letters in a script font connect seamlessly. Script fonts can range in style from elegant to fun and casual.
Display: Display fonts are designed to grab your reader’s attention. Novelty or display fonts should be used sparingly within your design.
Why are font choices important?
Think of your font choices as the outfit you choose to wear. Your clothes can invite others to make (just or unjust) assumptions about your age, personality, socioeconomic background, and your style. It’s the first thing people see, and it can affect the way you’re perceived or the impression you make on others. And various occasions call for different types of clothing—you wouldn’t wear a bathing suit to a business meeting or vice versa. Appropriateness has to be considered.
Clothes serve us the same way fonts serve designs; they provide others with a first-glance impression that conveys a message and purpose. Typography sets the tone for the entire design and can sway viewers’ feelings and thoughts about the design—just as if you were to arrive at a funeral in sweatpants and a t-shirt. You’ll be judged based on your appearance, so consider using clothes—or fonts—that are appropriate for the occasion.
Choosing the Right Font
Pick a font that aligns with your brand identity.
When you think about your brand, what characteristics come to mind? Reliable? Fast-paced and modern? Professional? Any characteristic you want your brand to represent can be conveyed through a thoughtfully chosen font.
Fonts can be categorized into several different “personality types.” Consider which “personality” will best represent your brand and business.
Strong and Defined
Traditional, Trustworthy, Old-Fashioned
Times New Romans
Contemporary, Modern, Progressive
Romantic, Elegant, Beautiful
Consider the audience you want to attract.
Determine the audience/consumers you want to attract by answering these questions:
What is the age group of my target audience?
Is there a preferred gender of my target audience?
What does my current customer base say about the type of people my business/services appeal to?
What is the ideal income level of my target audience?
Once you identify your target audience and current customer base, decide what characteristics would appeal to them, and choose a font that aligns with those characteristics.
Choose a font that is easy to read and versatile.
The purpose of your website is to provide potential clients with valuable information about your business and services, so readability is a top priority. Avoid using decorative or highly stylized fonts for body text. Your body font’s readability should seamlessly transfer from one device to another—be sure your chosen font functions correctly on all devices.
Analytic Design is a privately held, full-service strategic design firm. We operate under an optimized consultant model that has proven for years over many client engagements to be scalable, flexible, and cost-effective. We have three pillars of expertise and services: Strategic Branding and Marketing, Website/Application Design and Development, and Technical/IT support.
Analytic Design has been helping clients create more authentic, compelling, differentiating, and relevant brand strategies, brand identities, content strategies and assets, websites, and marketing campaigns since we were founded and, for many of us, well before that.
We’ve enabled clients ranging from multi-million-dollar global enterprises to entrepreneurial small businesses to more effectively express their services and benefits, expand market perceptions, optimize competitiveness, continually improve marketing metrics, and increase market share.
Our consistent successes for clients tie directly to the quality and experience of our team, our approach to serving clients, as well as our creative, technical, and management capabilities. Analytic Design is a Certified Small, Women-Owned Business.
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