My what a sexy font you have…

Fonts are the voice of your website.  They reveal your personality, or the personality of your site.  Your font needs to match the topic, content and feel of your site. So what is your font personality? Sexy, playful, provocative? Mysterious, classic, cold or impersonal? Mature or immature?

Fonts are the stepchildren of web design. When you create a blogsite (which I recommend over a regular website) you primarily focus on graphic design. How does it look?  Do the colors go nicely together?  Do your sidebars look cool? Does your home page grab you?  Font is usually a secondary or tertiary consideration. Often it is not even a conscious decision; people will just accept whatever the default font is.  There are people in typography who feel that your choice of font is a representation of your personality.  I wouldn’t go that far, but your font does send a message.

“Typefaces are the clothes words wear, and just as we make judgments about people by the clothes they wear, so we make judgments about the information we’re reading by the typefaces,” typography analyst Caroline Arche

Size Matters

Size does matter when it comes to fonts.  A smaller font conveys power and authority. A large font indicates immaturity. So in general smaller is better, unless it is too small to read.

Font Type

The type of font you choose sends a message.  Professional but traditional? Use Times.  Professional but contemporary? Use Verdana. Courier New says cold and unfeeling. Times New Roman is a good compromise between traditional and modern and generates feelings of trustworthiness. If you want something flirty and fun, then pick something with big circular O’s and swooping lines.

“Courier is the sensible shoes of Fonts.”

Font Color

The color of your font is extremely important, especially in relation to your background.  How many times have you gone to a page and had trouble reading the writing because of the font color?  People may have difficulties reading what you write because of vision issues,migraines, or forms of color blindness.  But if someone is struggling with reading what you wrote because they cannot see it easily, they will not stay on your page.

  • Do not place small white text on black backgrounds. It is visually very difficult to read.  The letters blur together and become indistinguishable, or seemingly move around. (This is one time where larger font size is better).
  • Red text on a yellow background is like a seizure for the eyes. It actually creates a holographic effect.
  • Blue text on green background or green on blue background should be avoided.  Often the words will just melt into the background and some people won’t be able to see them at all.

a block of white text on a black background showing how white text is hard to read

A demonstration of how white text is hard to read

The best font to use is black text on a white, light gray, light cream or light tan background.  It is the easiest to read.  Ultimately it is most important to make sure people can read what you write, then consider what your font says about your web presence personality.

Hashtags: #fonts #typeface #blog

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