Typography may seem tiny, but it’s more important than you think.
Written words are everywhere, from the menu you read this morning at your favorite cafe to this article. Even if you are not a skilled font designer, you may still notice that the scripts you see in all these documents are different. These different scripts are called fonts, a set of distinct design features for glyphs, such as alphabets and characters. For example, Times New Roman is a typeface. What we usually call “font” actually refers to the variations (eg weight, size) within a typeface. For example, Times New Roman 10 point and Times New Roman 14 point are two different fonts. The study of font style and how fonts convey messages in different contexts is known as typography.
Wherever written words go, there is typography, and business websites are no exception. If you find that your company’s website looks weird but you can’t quite put your finger on it, there may be a problem with the typography. Read on to find out more.
Introducing Font Psychology
Essentially, font psychology studies how typography influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. In other words, fonts can trigger our emotions and we tend to evaluate them based on our cognition, that is, how our existing knowledge influences perception and judgment. For example, since occasional scripts are often used in documents that require an informal look, when we see a casual handwritten font, like “Dawning of a New Day” (created by Kimberly Geswein on Google Fonts), we’ll instinctively call it informal.
In short, you need to “manipulate” font psychology if you want visitors to view your business positively when they visit your website. Follow the guide below to optimize your business website typography step by step:
Why typography matters to your business
Before diving into font selection, you must first understand how typography affects your business. As 90% of web design is characterized by fonts, it’s no surprise that you need to spend time studying them to improve your website. There is no “golden rule” for font selection, although some scripts are suggested based on font psychology factors, such as professionalism and visitor emotions.
No matter what category your business falls into, creating a professional corporate image is always essential. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but you can start with typography for your business website. If you want to present your business as established, stable and professional, choose fonts from the Serif family (see “Know your font families” section), such as Georgia, Baskerville and Garamond, as they are associated with tradition and stability.
The emotions of visitors
If you still remember the definition of font psychology, typefaces can convey feelings. Simply put, when we see traditional Serif prints, such as Times New Roman and Georgia, we tend to perceive the content we read as formal and professional. In contrast, a website made up of casual typefaces, like handwriting scripts, will make us feel relaxed.
As mentioned above, it’s always important to maintain a company’s professional image. Therefore, you should choose typefaces that present your business as well-developed and, above all, reliable.
Know your font families
The typefaces you see on websites mainly fall into four families: Serif, Sans-serif, script, and decorative. Let’s examine them one by one:
serif font refers to to scripts with small short lines extending from the edges (known as serif; parts highlighted in red). Since the fonts in this family were designed to make the texts easier to read, they can adapt to the website styles of most companies. Due to their classic nature, Serif fonts carry a sense of trust alongside respectability, making it an ideal option for corporate websites. Some popular fonts in this family include Playfair Display, Garamond, Baskerville, Georgia, and Courier New.
As the name suggests, sans serif fonts are devoid of decorative lines. Without the serif, the script appears be simple and minimalist. Go for Arial, Helvetica, Proxima Nova, Futura, and Calibri if you intend to keep your website modern and clean and give visitors more space to digest content.
Script or handwritten fonts are fonts that look like our natural handwriting. From our writing styles vary based on our personality, handwritten fonts are also available in a wide range of styles. While handwritten scripts might look fun, it’s not so smart to incorporate them into your business website because the flourishes and loops (called swash) that come with them may affect readability. Perhaps that’s why international brands like Coca-Cola, Cadbury, and Disney are only adopting handwriting scripts for their logos, not their websites.
Like handwritten fonts, decorative fonts are also known for their extreme features, like swashes or exaggerated serifs. While decorative fonts allow designers to unleash their creativity, heavily decorated fonts are difficult to read. Therefore, they are mostly only used in titles of a few words. If you want to draw your visitor’s attention to a slogan on your website, an eye-catching decorative font can be the best solution.
Mix and match fonts
Using only one distinct typeface can make your website look dull. In fact, mixing and matching two scripts can to bring variety to the website and make the ultimate design more balanced. Renowned typographer Jessica Hische suggests that we should identify the dominant typeface (known as the anchor type) in the design before selecting the second.
Mixing and matching prints is a great way to add some cheer to your business website. However, you should never use more than four fonts throughout the design because if there are too many fonts on a website, it will become visually chaotic and distracting.
Take font size seriously
If you’ve found a typeface that suits your business style, congratulations. However, at the same time, remember to pay attention to the font size as it affected readability. Words that are too small (where you have to squint) or too big (where you have to scroll multiple times to finish reading a full sentence) will affect the browsing experience for customers, especially if your website is designed for browsing. mobile.
Technically speaking, any text input on the website should be at least 16px (short for pixels) because people can Lily texts of this size comfortably without straining your eyes. This typography rule also applies to body text (about 16px). On the other hand, captions should be a few pixels smaller in size so that readers can distinguish between the two (body text and captions).
Conclusion: check your typography in different browsers
Fonts can sometimes be tricky as they can display differently depending on the browsers. Even if you’ve finalized the design and tested it a million times on your desktop, it’s still best to double or even triple check if the fonts look good on all devices. Don’t forget to also check if the content displayed in the chosen scripts is properly scaled and readable (not too small or oversized). Google Resizer is useful whenever you need to test your website.
There’s still a lot to cover on typography, but given space constraints, here are the most useful tips you need to create or manage your business websites. If your budget allows, hire professionals for better results, and this investment can grow your business.
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Header image courtesy of the author