Believe it or not, your font choice says a lot about who you are and what you’re about. While sometimes considered a more utilitarian part of a website compared to images, advertisements and writing style, your main font is too important to be chosen carelessly. It makes a subtle impact on the reader’s overall impression of your blog and can enhance (or take away from) their connection to your content.
There are many considerations when choosing a typeface for your blog, but the most important factor will always be readability. A successful and legible body font does not call attention to itself. You’ve got important things to say – don’t let swirls and curls ruin it for you! Decorative glyphs and serifs can make the copy appear too “active” and will exhaust a reader – especially when faced with a hefty paragraph of copy. Even sans-serif fonts that have a lot of contrast between the thin and thick parts of each letter can be distracting and hard to read. Subtle and steady fonts (usually sans serifs) allow the reader to effortlessly glide from one word to the next. A more enjoyable reading experience for your site visitor means more time spent on your site!
When choosing a font, you must consider the following:
Bad fonts – unless you write a satirical blog about font usage, you should steer clear of certain fonts that are universally recognized as “bad”: Comic Sans, Trajan, Zapfino, Bank Gothic, Papyrus, Copperplate, Bradley Hand, Mistral, Curlz.
Overused fonts – Fonts, even great fonts, can become trendy and overused…which means they sometimes lose their luster and visual impact. Even though your content may be authentic and individualized, your message gets lost because people assume they know something about you due to the association they already have with 10 other bloggers. Examples: Lobster, Helvetica, Brush Script, Times New Roman, Courier, Arial.
Readability – don’t opt for a thin or bold version of a font. Search for fonts with a medium weight and even spacing between the letters. Aside from headlines, you should rarely use lots of capitalization.
- Shoot for 8-12 words per line, if possible.
- For large bodies of copy, don’t use light-colored text on a dark background.
Tone – How do you want readers to perceive you? Modern, reliable, trustworthy, organic, human, rustic, chic, childish. Many fonts have historical or stylistic associations which can undermine your intentions if it clashes with your style. Find out where your font of choice is currently being used – is this in line with your blog?
Open sans looks pretty boring as a title on a banner graphic, doesn’t it? Header fonts (or title fonts) are sometimes considered design elements, so they can be more decorative as long as they are paired with a legible body font. In order to provide a truly consistent and branded experience, you should limit your decorative font choices to a select few on your blog or social posts and they should share similar mood and characteristics.
Quick Tips for pairing fonts:
- Aim to use no more than 3 fonts per page.
- Contrast is good! Don’t pair fonts (Header + Sub Header or Header + Body Font) that are too similar.
- If you are a beginner at typography and need to pair fonts quickly, try to choose one serif and one sans serif with contrasting sizes. Generally, this type of pairing works well.