What Every Designer Should Consider About Fonts
There are thousands of ways internet users can obtain information these days. Websites operating under cloud hosting are able to get information to the masses on multiple platforms in a matter of seconds, supporting great sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and news sources. And behind each of these sites, is an individual or team of designers.
These designers consider layout, color, mood, theme, and font. Often when considering design, many don’t truly take font into consideration – especially as they try to quickly throw a site together. However, font is incredibly important to a website, after all it conveys a site’s message, and each designer needs to ask the following about the font they are using when designing a site:
How Easy is it to Read?
Sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised with how many designers don’t consider a font’s readability. Most browsers have a default font rendering so that no matter if a site is hosted in a GPU cloud or a large scale hosting firm it can be easily read, and many designers avoid using these. However, there is a good reason to at least take a thing or two away from browser default renderings – they have high readability.
When choosing a font for a site, try to keep simplicity in mind. Generally the more complicated a regular font gets, the harder it is to read. If you want to get creative with the font, try to reserve it for headlines. Otherwise, high contrasting fonts at 13px are best for those seeking high readability – which you should be.
What Does it Say?
Any designer knows that a font itself says just about as much as a site as the actual words do themselves. Font has the ability to set the mood and convey emotion, and every designer needs to take that in to consideration when writing for a site. Bold headlines and words tend to grad readers and direct traffic. Lighter fonts, on the other hand, tend to be less in-your-face and more easy to read and process for other readers. All of these need to be taken in to consideration when creating a site so that you give a client the best site possible that most accurately defines and complements their mission.
How’s the Font Quality?
This may sound like an interesting facet to consider, but if you aren’t considering the metrics of the font you are using, you could wind up with a jumbled mess of text on your website. In traditional print, fonts and overall layout can be better controlled so that spacing, size, and word interaction can all look exactly the way you want it to. With the internet, that isn’t exactly the case, especially if you use free or low-quality fonts.
Free fonts tend to be created by novice designers and usually lack good kerning and consistent x and cap heights. Higher quality fonts have great font metrics, and are much easier to work with in design. So if you are actually interested in creating a page with consistent and good-looking font, don’t be afraid to spring for a higher quality fonts or a font package.
Font conveys so much meaning and emotion in the 2D world of the web that designers need to give it the attention it deserves when designing a site. The wrong type of font, boldness, or size can convey the wrong message or confuse readers, so when designing a site, remember the font and how it ties into the overall message a site is trying to convey.