Bloggers love fonts.
I know I just stereotyped and generalized with that statement. I’m sticking to it.
We love fun fonts! We love fonts that are bright and fun and give our blogs a good vibe. We love script-y fonts and chalkboard fonts and bright pink polka dot fonts! While these may be perfect choices for your scrapbook, there are some guidelines for website and branding fonts.
Let’s get the single most important aspect of typography out of the way: it must be readable.
The primary job of type is to communicate information with ease. Begin your font search with the understanding that it’s not about what you like personally, but all about what your readers can, well, read.
1. Body font
The key font you must choose is your body text. Yes, I know it’s boring, but it is what your audience spends the most time reading – we hope! Start with choosing between a serif or sans-serif font.
A serif is a small line at the end of a stroke in each letter. A font like Times or Georgia – or what you’re reading right now – has those details. Sans serif fonts (sans is French for “without”) don’t have the added details, like Arial and Century Gothic.
The design world is undecided about whether serif or sans serif fonts are best for your body text. The pro-serif crowd says the details lead your eye through the text while the pro-sans serif crew says the clean lines are simpler for the eye to navigate. There really is not a right or wrong answer here provided your choice is clean and easy to read.
Meaning, no handwriting font allowed.
2. Header font
You can have more fun with your header choice (but not too much). Start with the opposite font type from your body text. Classic serif font for the body? Try a sans serif header font. The same rules apply: your headers must provide clear and easy reading.
Play around with the shapes. A wide and round font like Century Gothic could pair well with a thinner body font. Or a heftier body font could fit with a thin-lined header. You may want to consider your color palette, too. Try a lighter color with a thick font and a bold color with thin ones.
This leads us to…
3. Combining fonts
Choose three possible header fonts and test them with your body text. Try various sizes and colors. Print them out to compare side by side.
Type conveys emotion, so pay attention to how the combos make you feel. A strong contrast between the header and body fonts could communicate tension, fearlessness or boldness. A complementary pair can convey peace, acceptance or balance.
The goal of your site should play into this decision. A yoga studio’s website should feel peaceful while a spin studio may want that bold and competitive vibe.
Stick to a general rule of two primary fonts. This keeps your overall design clean and cohesive. You may try a third accent font. Here you can play with that favorite handwriting font you put aside earlier. A fun font can soften the clean lines or your header and body fonts, but are usually less readable, so keep it limited.
C’est bien? Have fun!
Thanks for reading!