5 Tips for Choosing the Best Web Font for Your Design

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If you think that there’s a lot of fonts in MS Word, try comparing this number to the number of font options available for web designers; in fact, you can’t even compare the two, seeing as how there is no real way to quantify the latter.

On the other hand, choosing the right font for your design is of huge importance, as this will influence both the general appeal of your website, as well as its readability. Here are five tips for choosing the best font for your design.

Start from the ground up

Start with the very fundamentals of fonts in general. Firstly, you’ll need to choose between serif and sans serif; the latter is the dominant choice, but it all depends on the style you’re going for with your website.

Although this might not sound basic at all, you can rest assured that this is the very essence of fonts – the amount of space surrounding the text is just as important as the typeface. Kerning, for one, is the space between letter pairs, tracking is the space between groups of characters, while leading is the amount of space between the lines of text. Together, kerning, tracking and leading play a vital role in representing your typeface.

Think about alignment and justification – choose whether your text will be aligned left, right or center and whether blocks will be fully justified or have ragged edges.

Type comes first

It’s important that you make design choices based on the typefaces you use. This is why typography should come first. Focusing on decoration is never a good idea, even though it might be quite tempting to do so . The majority of web designers aren’t really crazy about dealing with fonts – they prefer to focus on the actual design. Well, unfortunately for them, it’s all about getting back to solid design principles, such as well-formed grids and decent measures.

Readability

When choosing a font, innovation, sleekness and outright beauty are all borderline irrelevant – no matter how perfect-looking a font is, this is not what the readers will notice. It’s all, of course, about readability; aesthetics come second or even third. Many designers dread the idea of using browser defaults and, while this is perfectly understandable, it’s a mistake – these are easy to read and that’s all that matters!

Your aim is readability and this means that your font should always be clear and easy to read at around 13px.

Additionally, keep the contrast high – this is very important!

Compatibility

Browsers are constantly changing and updating, so one of the main aims of your target typeface is compatibility with modern web interfaces; and yes, this means both desktop and mobile devices.

If you think that this is easy, consider the fact that this might take testing across multiple devices if you want to be sure that you’ve covered all your bases (and you do).

Secondly, aiming for compatibility means constantly keeping up with every detail of your website; and, while this may sound easy, you should understand that you won’t really be prompted or inclined to visit your website on a daily basis. Additionally, maintenance will take a lot of time and at some point, you will start neglecting it. This is why opting for WordPress hosting, maintenance and support from trustworthy companies such as WP Perk is a smart way to go – they will not only make sure that your font remains compatible, but also that your website as a whole is operating at its full potential.

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Tone and message

Try selecting a font as an actual afterthought; in other words, choose type options first and things will come together easier. Consider how the text will play with other elements of design, for example, color and images. Navigating through countless fonts is difficult, but it’s much easier if you actually have an idea of what you are looking for.

Written by IslaWright

Isla is a psychology professor and tech enthusiast.
She is a well published blogger and editor at Technivorz.

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