What is a Font?
Numerous factors must be considered when creating a website during the design process. Whether it is choosing the perfect visuals or curating an awesome color palette, something or the other always goes unnoticed during the whole process. However, you should never overlook the website font or what we commonly refer to as typography.
Please note that a font is not the same as a typeface. Simply put, a typeface is a digital representation of a text that comes alongside various designs. On the other hand, a font tends to be more specific and has individual weights and styles. One small example to help you get a better understanding would be Helvetica.
Helvetica is the perfect example of a typeface that provides as many as 36 different types of options. Some of them include,
- Helvetica Light
- Helvetica Bold
- Helvetica Black and
- Helvetica Rounded, among many others.
Helvetica is an example of a typeface that comes alongside various specific fonts, such as Helvetica Light or Helvetica Bold.
The Benefits of Choosing the Right Fonts for Your Website
The benefits of choosing the right fonts for your business are numerous. Mentioned below are some of the same.
- It attracts the readers
The font that you select for your website must add some sort of value to your text. Readers should be able to perceive the information from the text in a hassle-free manner. Therefore, it is always recommended to use such fonts that are easily readable. Furthermore, your font’s color and text size also plays an important role in targeting your respective audience.
- It retains the reader’s attention
Although it is quite easy to attract your readers by using suitable fonts for your website, retaining their attention can take time and effort. Therefore, you should always be as creative as possible while selecting the fonts for specific text. For example, you can create some interest in the content by highlighting certain aspects of the text with captivating fonts.
When used effectively, typography can make even mundane text appear attractive and interesting to your audience.
- Establishing an information hierarchy
Information hierarchy refers to categorizing information inside a content according to its importance. You can achieve the same by using suitable font types and sizes to create a differentiation of texts that you might deem to be more important than the rest. For example, you can use subheadings or bigger font sizes for such information. In this way, your audience can determine which text should be paid more attention to than the rest.
- Creates and builds Recognition
When you start using a particular pattern of fonts on your official website and present the same with some rhythm, it helps build brand recognition in your customers’ minds. When paired with visual representation, it can serve as an excellent way of identification for the viewers.
Types of Fonts
Before delving into the details of the best font for e-commerce websites, let’s look at the five main types of fonts.
The serif font is usually characterized by the small extra stroke (also known as serif) that is present at the end of a letter or symbol. It is usually used in books and newspaper printing and is considered to be quite elegant and classic by many. Some of the most popular examples of the same might include Times New Roman and Bodoni, among others.
There are various subcategories of Serif fonts, such as Old Style Serifs, Slab Serifs, and Transitional Serifs. Each has its own set of unique characteristics that sets them apart from one another.
Contrary to Serif fonts, Sans-Serif Fonts lack that extra stroke at the end of the letters. This gives it a more modern and neutral appearance, making it the perfect choice for web design. It is regarded to be highly legible and works best, especially for those brands that are trying to build brand recognition. A few examples of the same include Helvetica, and Comic Sans, among others.
Similar to Serif fonts, there are also quite a few subcategories of Sans-Serif fonts. Those include Grotesque, Neo-grotesque, and Humanist, among others.
Moving on, display fonts, also commonly referred to as decorative fonts, are usually used in large-format displays. This includes billboards, headlines, and posters. The ultimate goal of using this font is to create a long-lasting impact on the reader’s mind. Some of the most well-known brands across the globe are known for using this font to generate a fun and quirky vibe through their logos. A few examples of the same are Disney, Baskin-Robbins, and Fanta.
Lastly, we have script fonts, which are typically modeled after handwriting styles. They generally include cursive fonts and are known to make brands seem approachable and personalized. They can portray elegance and prestige if used in the right manner. However, it is always recommended to limit the usage of this font only to titles. Reading texts in a script font can be quite difficult for readers. A few well-known examples of script fonts include Lobster, and Lucida Handwriting, among others.
Choosing the Right Font for your Website
Choosing the best font for an e-commerce website might seem quite daunting. However, it is also extremely crucial. This is because the right font will attract your readers and encourage them to stay longer on your page. It might also nudge them towards a successful purchase. On that note, here are a few principles you must consider while selecting a font for your website.
Popular Serif and Sans-Serif typefaces
Serif and Sans-Serif are the most popular types of typefaces that exist. There are various subcategories of the same. Before delving into too many details of the varied forms of fonts, it is always advisable to start with the basics first.
Times New Roman and Georgia are the most commonly used types of Serif typefaces. They are very easy to read and have been used by many internet users for a very long time. You can never go wrong with Times New Roman or Georgia. Nonetheless, if you wish to explore other fonts, there are various other serif typefaces available that you can use for free. Those include Crimson Text, Playfair Display, and Cormorant Garamond.
If you wish to give your website a more modern and chic look, Sans-serif fonts are the ones to go for. Arial, Futura, and Verdana are some of the widely used types of Sans-Serif fonts that you can check out.
Regardless of which of these above-mentioned types you choose, it all comes down to your target audience and the mood that you wish to evoke in their minds. For those, who wish to disseminate an elegant and more formal tone, Serif fonts will do wonders for your website. Sans-serif is usually known more for generating a minimalist appearance.
One of the best things about Sans-Serif typefaces is their flexibility. This means you can easily combine them with any other old-style typeface without cluttering your website.
Primary and secondary font choices for websites
According to experts, it is always advisable to use no more than 2-3 fonts for your website. After all, too much of a good thing does not always generate the desired effect. Therefore, while selecting a font for your website, focus only on the primary and secondary fonts. Wondering what those are? Let’s find out.
Primary font- This is usually the one that is going to be the most visible on your website. Therefore, try to select a font that resonates with your brand identity. Primary fonts are generally used in your website’s headings and larger texts. One important thing to consider here is to ensure that your brand logo contains hints of your primary font. This will result in a much more impactful effect on your brand. If you are looking for suitable primary fonts for your website, you should check out Qontra, Ikaros, and Voga.
Secondary font- Secondary font is usually used mostly in the body copy of your website. This includes any product description or articles you might incorporate into your site. While choosing a secondary font, always go for one that is clean and easy to read. This will enable you to attract your visitors and retain their attention for a much longer period of time. Verdana, Roboto, and Futura are some of the most effective and popular secondary font types that you can use for your body text.
Consider white space, background color, and letter spacing
While selecting the best font for an e-commerce website, it is important to consider a few design elements that will ultimately decide the look of your typeface. Those include leading, kerning, and tracking. Leading refers to the space between the lines of text, and kerning is the spacing between each letter. Tracking, on the other hand, refers to the spacing between groups of letters. When used effectively, all these three methods combined create a visually pleasing font.
Apart from this, you should also consider the contrast of your typographic web design. It primarily emphasizes different chunks of your text in varied ways. A few examples include manipulating the color to highlight certain aspects of your text that you deem important. It also involves the practice of making certain texts appear bold by altering the weight of the font.
Individual character, special characters, and huge impact on design
Special characters typically refer to those that are more than just a letter or a number. A few examples of the same include punctuation marks and symbols. Incorporating special characters into your content can be a great way to make it different from the competitors. For example, when used in the right manner, a punctuation mark can make large chunks of text much easier to read. However, overdoing the same can make your writing much harder to read. It can also make your content inaccessible. Rather, you can split the sentence into multiple sections.
While special characters are crucial for good grammar, they can cause significant problems, especially if
- Used for decorative purposes only
- Used incorrectly
Common Library of Web Safe Fonts
Different browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, render and load fonts differently. When designing a website, selecting a font that works well on every browser is important. This is where a web-safe font comes into play. They look great and load seamlessly in almost every browser of every device. However, it does not necessarily mean you have to bid farewell to the custom fonts you chose for your brand. You can still use them if you add web-safe options to your front stack.
Times New Roman and Comic Sans Misconception
Times New Roman and Comic Sans are two fonts that are often referred to as “web-safe fonts.”
In the early days of the internet, web designers had to choose fonts that were widely available on all operating systems and devices. Times New Roman and Arial were two of the most commonly used fonts because they were pre-installed on both Windows and Mac computers. This made them a safe choice for web designers who wanted to ensure that their website’s text was readable by the majority of users.
Comic Sans was designed specifically for use in Microsoft products, such as the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software. This means that it is not widely available on all devices and operating systems and may not display correctly on some systems.
Google Font Library and Josefin Sans
Google Fonts is a library that hoards as many as 1493 open-source font families and APIs that are free of cost. You can use them both for your personal and business needs. You can access the same via CSS and Android. Furthermore, there are also various tools available that let you preview any font in action.
Josefin Sans is one such very popular font, available in the Google Font library. It is mostly used for larger-size texts and offers a geometric and vintage vibe to your content. What’s more? It is very easy to read and free to use.
How to Choose and Implement the Right Fonts
Given this vast range of options available online, it can be quite hard to select the best font for your website. On that note, here are a few factors to consider before selecting and implementing the right fonts for your business.
1. Consider legibility
Legibility is one of the most important parameters when selecting a font. Your font should be clear and legible enough so that your readers do not have to spend any extra time or effort decoding the text. The best way to ensure this is by completely avoiding incorporating any kind of fancy fonts in large texts, as it makes it difficult to read. If at all you need to use such decorative typefaces, limit their usage only to headlines and titles.
Furthermore, it is also important to choose a typeface that fits all sizes and weights. This will help you to maintain the perfect balance of readability in every size.
2. Think about brand identity
Brand identity is perhaps the most crucial element that sets one brand apart from the other. Therefore, while selecting a font, you need to be extra careful about how well it resonates with the overall personality of your business. Think about the kinds of emotions you wish to convey to your customers. Is it fun and quirky or professional and elegant? Depending on this, you can select the best font for your brand.
3. Stick to just a couple of fonts
It can be quite tempting, at times, to include all the varied fonts available on your site. However, what most do not realize is by doing so, your website will seem disconnected, or worse, you will create a jarring experience for your readers. Therefore, it is always advisable to limit the usage to only a couple of fonts. You can select one for all your headings and another for your main body text. You can also try combining blunt font types with those that offer a much more neutral and subdued tone. Yet another good combination can be Serif and Sans Serif. When you pair both these typefaces, it creates a subtle yet distinctive difference.
4. Choose the right font size
Although there is no one particular font size that should be used, 16px is generally considered to be the minimum size that you should use for your website. However, that said, it can vary according to the font. The idea is to select a font size that is large enough for your visitors to read, including those with visual impairments. Furthermore, you must also ensure that your text can be read on all devices, ranging from mobile phones to desktop computers and tablets.
5. Consider accessibility
You must develop a website that is accessible to everyone, including those suffering from mental and visual impairments. While choosing the right font style and size is one way to guarantee this, you must also consider the color contrast of your website. This basically means that irrespective of the background (solid color or image), the content must be easy to read and understand. In this way, you can improve the overall accessibility of your ecommerce website.
6. Avoid all caps in paragraphs
Using all caps to highlight certain portions of your paragraph might seem like a good idea. However, too much of it can do you more harm than good. This is mainly because the human brain has trouble processing capitalized letters, especially in large paragraphs. This makes the reading much slower, and ultimately your readers lose interest. Therefore, the best way to deal with such scenarios is to limit the usage of capitalized letters only to the headlines or the titles. In this way, you will not only be able to create impact via your headlines or titles but also ensure a smooth and hassle-free reading experience for your site visitors.
By now, you must have realized the huge importance of fonts in a website. It not only creates an improved user experience but also is responsible for making or breaking a website. With so many font styles available on the internet, it can be quite difficult to find the one that is right for you. The idea is first to determine your design purpose, following which you can select the number of typefaces you wish to incorporate into your website. Whichever font you ultimately choose, always ensure that your website offers optimum legibility for your readers. You can do so by conducting random tests on how your fonts appear on varied screen sizes and devices.