Choosing fonts for your website

Did you know that the way you choose the right fonts for your website and brand will make a huge difference in how your business is perceived online. And it can be the difference between your ideal client leaving straight away or sticking around and seeing what you've got to offer. In this video I show you how to make the right decisions!
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Kelly Sparkes Opal and Onyx Founder

Hi, I’m Kelly and I help female entrepreneurs translate their brand and message into a beautiful, responsive website, optimised to draw in and convert their ideal customer.

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Did you know that choosing the right fonts for your brand and website will make a huge difference to how your business is perceived online? It can be the difference between your ideal client leaving straight away or sticking around and seeing what you’ve got to offer. 

Hey, everyone, I’m Kelly, and today I’m going to teach you how to choose the perfect fonts for your brand and website. Stick around until the end, where I will show you how to get my free font pairing swipe file, to make your job even easier. 

Before you choose the actual fonts you want, you need to decide which style of font will work best for your brand, and we can do this using font psychology.

Serif

First, let’s take a look at the serif. This is the oldest font style and it is characterised by the little strokes at the edges of the letters – called serifs. They appear on both uppercase and lowercase letters, plus everything else, including numbers. Serif is the perfect choice for traditional, academic, classical and elegant businesses, things like antique shops or vintage shops and historic businesses. 

Sans-Serif

These fonts do not have the serifs on them, hence the name sans-serif, and are considered a more modern choice than serif fonts. Styles can vary a lot between fonts and some could be square or round, but they are all simple, clean, friendly and suit a minimal, contemporary aesthetic. Sans-serif fonts tend to take on the characteristics of the fonts they’re paired with. A serif font with a sans-serif will give the sans-serif a more classic feel, more elegant, whereas pairing it with a script font would make it feel more formal and feminine. 

Script

Script typefaces mimic cursive handwriting, so they can be quite formal like calligraphy or more casual, very ornate or very plain. They’re generally best reserved for your logo or headings, as they can be impossible to read if they’re in large paragraphs of text. They’re perfect for historic businesses or where you want to evoke style or romance, so something like a wedding planner or a florist would be great with a script font. 

Handwriting 

Handwriting typefaces are more like real handwriting than script because they have an uneven letter form as if you were writing it yourself. They’re great for conveying a more relaxed, creative feel, they can be very distinctive and again, better used for logos, titles and larger texts because of the legibility. As with the script font, they can be casual or formal, neat or messy. 

Display

Display typefaces are generally used for headings rather than body text. They’re attention-grabbing, quite modern, eccentric, bold, friendly and they can be expressive and unique. These usually need to be displayed at a larger size. 

Monospace

Finally, let’s have a look at monospace typefaces. These have characters that all occupy the same amount of horizontal space along the line. They’ve got the feel of text written on a typewriter or an early computer and they’re plain and less distracting than other typefaces. 

Never underestimate the power of a font. The same text written in different fonts can convey a different meaning. 

The burning question that most people ask me when talking to me about fonts, is how many fonts should I use? And I always say, as few as possible. Using too many is going to dilute your brand and make your website look untidy. It’s also really difficult to match lots of different fonts together. 

How many fonts?

Ideally, you should choose two fonts that express your brand perfectly, one for the titles and one for the body text, with perhaps a third for your logo or on social media posts; something like a handwritten one for example. 

For body text, the best one to use is a sans-serif font, unless you’re a super historic business, otherwise, it might look out of place. If you are an historic business, you would use a serif font that was quite simple and looks good at a small size, and it should have numerous styles you can utilise. If you think about writing a paragraph of text, you’re going to want to use some bold in there, you might want italic, and you’re going to want to link all these different things. Therefore, you have to make sure you choose a font with all these different styles built-in. 

In the swipe file I mentioned earlier, I have lots of examples of serif font and sans-serif fonts that work perfectly on their own, so take a look at that and choose one that works well for you. If you choose one of the stronger fonts, one of the bolder fonts like ‘display script’ or ‘handwritten’, then pair it with something simple to avoid a busy design with different fonts competing. 

Contrasting Fonts

Another thing to think about when looking at pairing different fonts is to make sure you have a contrast between them. If you choose two fonts that are too similar, you’re going to have a pretty dull design and you’re probably better off going with just the one font, so it’s strong and makes a statement. If you do choose two fonts, just ensure they work together harmoniously because fonts that are two different can also jar. Equally, don’t be afraid to just use one typeface across your entire brand. If you find one you think suits you perfectly and it’s got multiple styles that can be used in different areas, especially like thin, bold, etc. This can make it a really interesting website, really good for design, and you can use different styles in different areas. 

Sourcing Fonts

The next question I get asked all the time, is where do you get fonts from? There are so many different font websites that I can’t list them all here, but I have a few go-to places for fonts:

  1. My favourite is Google fonts, simply because most of the page builders these days have Google fonts built-in – Elementor, for example. 
  2. The second is Adobe type kit, and you can create a type kit without having an Adobe account, so you can upload your font. 
  3. The third website is Creative Market. I love Creative Market and I could spend all day on there. I love it when I need to choose fonts for a client, as it is perfect for handwritten fonts and fonts that are a bit more creative. Just be aware that they generally don’t have lots of different styles within each font, so it might not be the best to look for a font for your body text. 
  4. Font Squirrel
  5. MyFonts
  6. DaFont

I hope this has helped you understand how important fonts are to your brand and you now know what type of fonts will work well on your website. 

As I mentioned before, I’ve got a swipe file for you, to make choosing font pairing super simple. Click here to access your freebie.

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