You’d think that choosing a font would be a simple task, right? Well it isn’t. Firstly, there are endless amounts of options out there; with more and more fonts being released every day. Secondly, there are no hard fast rules on how to select a great font for your website; it’s a combination of careful consideration and gut instinct. This article lays out 3 principles that we as web developers consider each time we’re choosing the font for a new website.

1. Font should compliment design.

There are some amazing fonts out there that can look horrible if they’re used on the wrong website. On the flip-side, when chosen with the design of the website already in mind, a great font will perfectly compliment the rest of the site and bring everything together.

We recommend listing the qualities of the business you’re building a website for and finding a font that can mirror them. For instance if you’re building a website for a Thai restaurant thats been in business since the 1950’s; try looking for fonts that have an oriental feel, aren’t too modern and have a more traditional style.

2. Does it have a range of styles?

It’s easy to go searching the web for weird and wonderful fonts that you won’t find anywhere else, but one thing you must consider before choosing it for your website is: does it have a range of styles?

By styles what we mean is different versions of the font. The most commonly known are bold and italic but there’s plenty more to be aware of. Helvetica for instance comes with around 10 different styles including medium, light, thin and all the italic counterparts.

It’s important that your font has a good selection of styles because without them you’ll find yourself limited in your ability to draw attention to the places that need it.

3. Testing, testing, testing.

We always choose the font for a website towards the end of the project. The idea here is that there’s enough design already been completed (such as menu’s, images, features etc) that we can test different fonts and see how they look against the backdrop of what we’ve already designed.

We’ll typically narrow down our choices to 3-5 fonts that we think might best compliment the project we’re working on; then we test the hell out of them. So we’ll preview the website using each font and have a little play around with the different styles to see how headings may look in a thin style or bold for instance.


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