Post image antique letterpress
Fonts can be a tricky issue. Whether looking for a quick-fix, or spending hours hunting ‘just the right one’, there are always a number of considerations to be made.
Whether your site is artsy, informative, personal, or business, it’s important to determine the image you want to portray with your text. While the average person may not be able to bring to mind the names of any font other than the standard option in their word processing software, we know that they still pay attention to typefaces, and that different styles will affect how the reader receives a piece of text.
Take the example of the recent test Errol Morris ran in the New York Times. Questioning people on how much they agreed with a scientific statement, Morris showed that we unconsciously consider some fonts (specifically, Serif fonts) more trustworthy than others.
When CERN chose to announce their finding of the Higgs Boson in Comic Sans, the font nearly received more attention than the news itself. Make no mistake, fonts are serious business.
So what’s new? What are the current trends, and what can we make of them?
While Helvetica’s popularity makes it almost a cliché, a clean Sans Serif remains the best choice for tech-related work, and that inevitably means most websites.
An interesting option is Google’s ‘Roboto’ typeface. Designed in-house to use in their Android operating system, it’s clean and clear, and will become easily recognised as Android’s user base continues to expand. When viewed through a smartphone or tablet, your site will fit the user experience perfectly.
Sans rules the web. But, as Morris’ study shows, if you want to appear trustworthy, a Serif font is the way to go. The study suggests Baskerville carries the most import. Even design-centric sites such as tumblr use Serif fonts for their logos – Bookman Old Style Bold in this case.
While it makes sense to stick to the basics with your site’s main text, you can be more adventurous with your headers, and logos. They are much more capable of being stand-alone design elements, fitting in more fluidly with the overall design of the site, or standing out to create an attention grabber. This is where you get to show a little individuality.
If you want to make an impact, try out the chunky Kilogram
Inspire turn-of-the-century reverie and an retro feel with Absinthe
And for a beautiful, sensual font, it doesn’t get much better than Reina’s calligraphy-inspired lines
Mix things up. Sites like The Verge use a Sans Serif for their main copy and navigation (Helvetica and FF DIN, respectively), a Serif for their headlines (Adelle), and a styled Serif for their logo (modified ITC Serif Gothic Black).
This allows a great mix of style, trend, clarity and authority. You get the best of both words – current design without appearing unfounded, and authority without seeming staid.Tags: design fonts, fonts, photoshop fonts