Typography is one of the most important building blocks of web design. Choosing the best fonts is crucial for every website because a bad choice can break the whole design.
The font is not just the text on a screen. It’s part of the website and its design. It can make a web page beautiful or it can ruin everything if you choose the wrong font.
Although several tools can help us to choose beautiful fonts, first you have to understand a few things about fonts and how to choose them.
Why Fonts Are Important
On most websites, typography and images are the things that occupy the most space. So, like images and graphics, typography is very important. With it, you can beautify the web page and make it awesome.
Typography makes a hierarchy on the page and has its flow. There could be big, small, or bold text. A font could have a color that suits well with images. So it’s a part of the whole picture and choosing the right font is very important.
Fonts can set a mood on a website depending on a font style. You can place a simple font or some awkward handwriting font. Each one of them tells a different story and has different feelings.
Typography is very important and it’s not just a text on a page. It’s a crucial part of web design and choosing the right font for a particular website is a neat thing to do.
Where To Find Best Fonts
Nowadays we have the luxury of great typography resources where we can find beautiful fonts and many of them offer fonts for free. Also, several tools make it easier for us to choose fonts for different projects.
There are thousands of different free or premium font resources you can find but not all of them are great. You need to find high-quality fonts with different property options, made by good designers.
Here are some of the best fonts resources where you can find high-quality fonts, free and premium:
- Google Fonts – Free
- Font Squirrel – Free
- 1001Fonts – Free
- Open Foundry – Free
- Font Fabric – Free & Premium
How To Choose Best Fonts
So, you understand how important typography is and why it’s important. Also, you know where to find high-quality fonts. Now it’s time to understand how to choose the right fonts for a website.
We discuss the 6 very important things that will help you to find and pick fonts that will be the right choice for your website.
1. Font Categories
The first thing to know about typography before choosing a font is the categories. There are several categories of fonts you can choose from. And different categories can be good for a specific type of website.
Some websites require simple, easy-to-read fonts, some require big, creative fonts, and so on. And because of that, you have to know what these categories are, how they differ from each other, and what are the best use cases.
The first and very popular font category is Serif. Probably you have seen it in many places, especially in magazines because it’s used in print the most. But many websites use them as well.
You will not miss it because it has a very unique style. Serif fonts have a line or stroke at the end of the letter. In general, Serif fonts have premium looks so we see it on magazines, brand logos, and on many creative websites.
On websites, it is used as headings because it is great for big texts but we also see it as a body text. But because it has ending lines, on the different monitors it can be hard to read, so it is better for headings.
Sans Serif Fonts
Sans or Sans Serif is opposite of Serif but also very similar. The only difference between them is that Sans doesn’t have lines at the end of letters. So, it is simpler and easier to read on monitors. So, for the most part, it is the first choice as a body text.
Also, many times Serif and Sans are used in pairs – Serif as headings and Sans as paragraphs. Sans fonts are great for text-based websites like blogs or news websites. It doesn’t fatigue eyes while reading.
But you will see Sans fonts on many other types of websites such as app landing pages, portfolios, eCommerce, etc. It’s simple and easy to read.
Display fonts are very different from Sans and Serif. They have unique, irregular-shaped letters. Most of the Display fonts are bold and because of that, they are great as headings.
They are used on websites as well as in print. And because Display fonts are not simple, they have an impact on a design. So, it should be used carefully. If it’s not used properly, it can ruin the whole design.
We see this type of font on tech, gaming, or creative websites. Display fonts are great for hero sections and as a heading of an article.
The next font category that is not used as much on websites is Handwriting. Because it has such a unique design and it can be hard to read, we don’t see it much. But some very creative websites use them.
It can be used as a section header or as a big text but if you want to use it then the best case to use handwriting font is as an element. It can be one word or one sentence.
So, it can be a great secondary text element for the main big text on a page. It will add its flavor and make the design more interesting. But use it carefully.
And the last font category is Monospace that is used very rarely on websites. It’s a simple and easy-to-read font but is not used as the main font. But you can use it if you like it in some cases.
And because it’s very simple, many code editors use Monospace font. And also I’ve seen some blogs about development and coding that use Monospace font as their main body text.
Although it shouldn’t be used as the main typeface, it can be used as an element, like Handwriting.
So, these are the main five font categories you should know. Each of them is useful for different situations. And remember, every font in a category is different from each other. So, you have an unlimited number of choices.
For example, fonts in the Serif category are different from each other. Yes, they have the same aesthetics but also have some unique features that separate them from each other.
2. Website Style
The second important thing to consider when choosing typography is the type of your website. Font should be relevant to a website style.
Typography is one of the first things a visitor sees on a website next to images. Font should tell a visitor what type of website it is.
For example, if you have a techy font on a travel blog, it won’t look good. It will cause confusion in visitors and it can damage your website’s reputation and it’s bad for bounce rate.
Let’s say you have a blog. People read articles so there is no reason to use complicated fonts. Instead, use simple ones that are clear and easy to read.
Unique fonts like Display fonts could be great for eCommerce or portfolio websites. But use it on headings and big texts with combinations to another simple font.
Also, the Serif font has a premium, brandish look. So, if you want your website to have a premium look, you can use some kind of good Serif font.
So, choose typography depending on the style of the website.
3. Font Pairs
A great way to add a flavor to your website is to use font pairs. But don’t overdo it. Two different fonts are enough. Also, not every website needs it. For example, font pairs aren’t necessary for blogs.
But when choosing a font pair, you should consider several things:
- First, choose the main font, then a secondary one
- There should be a visible difference in font styles
- Make sure they work together
First of all, you have to choose the main font which will be dominant. And then you can find a font that is different from it and works with the main font.
If two fonts don’t look good, it’s a bad practice. It’s better to use one font than two that don’t work together.
A great practice is to use some stylish fonts for headings and big texts and simple fonts for paragraphs. An example for this would be a hero section where’s main text is Serif or Display font, and the secondary text is Sans.
And if you have difficulties in choosing font pairs, several tools help you to find good pairs. You can use them and find the best font pairs for your website.
4. Font With Styles
Choosing a good font from good designers is great but what you also need to pay attention to is if this font has different styles. Some of the best fonts don’t have styles and they can work, but it’s better to have different styles on your website.
And in font styles I mean if a font has thin, regular, medium, and bold styles. Also, it should have an italic style too.
Font styles like bold create a good hierarchy between texts and hierarchy is very important. It’s a size difference between texts – main and secondary, heading and paragraph.
And boldness adds another layer to the hierarchy. Also, headings with bold text look much nicer and professional.
For example, section headers should be bold, article headings and subheadings should be bold. Also, having an italic option can add a great flavor to your texts.
The best fonts don’t need to have too many styles but italic, thin, regular, medium, and bold are enough. Some fonts even have extra thin and extra bold.
Another important thing in typography is simplicity. Simple fonts are not only easy to read and understand, but also they sit well even in complex design. Simple and minimalistic fonts always work well and they always look modern.
Of course, if you compare Sans and Display fonts, Sans will be much simpler but that doesn’t mean that you have to choose Sans or every Display font is complex.
There are much good Display or even Handwriting fonts that are simple, minimalistic, and look amazing. But also there are many bad examples.
For example, Bungee is a Display font that has a very clear and simple design and it will look good.
On the other hand, Oi is another Display font that has a few weird shapes and it’s hard to read. So, it can be a bad choice in many cases.
What you need to pay attention to in the best fonts is how letters are shaped, do they have some weird curves or additional details, and so on.
Don’t choose the kind of font that is too complex and has awkward or too many additional details. The font itself can be beautiful but because of its complexity, it can’t work well on your design.
And the last thing to consider in typography is the readability of the font. It’s especially important for websites with a lot of text and articles. The best example will be the blog.
And readability is very similar to simplicity but there are differences. A font can be simple but not readable.
And also what you have to consider is where are you using that font. If a font is used on a big text like a heading, a not so simple font can work but what about paragraphs and small texts?
This is the place where you need to use simple best fonts with good readability. And the readability of the font is dependent on the shapes of the letters, curves, and details.
When a text is written in a well-readable font, reading is much simpler and It doesn’t cause eye fatigue. Especially important for blogs.
Imagine reading a blog post with a font that has many details. It will be a nightmare. But if the article is written in a good, simple, and easy-to-read font, it will be fun and you will read more text.
These are the main and very important steps to follow when choosing a font for a website. It will be much easier to choose the right font when you understand how the font works, what are the best fonts for big and small text, which fonts are great as pairs, etc.
And after you choose your font, another very important thing to decide is the color of the font, because color can make or break a design. But that’s another topic.