We all agree that that web fonts are a hot topic. It seems like, after decades of insistence, the world is finally coming to see the things the way designers do: typography matters, and it’s important to get it right.
If you’re a part of a large organization, you can probably create your own typefaces – it seems like everyone who’s anyone who has their own font these days. But if you’re starting out, resources like Google Fonts are a perfect way to establish your brand, deliver your copy and even speed up your website.
Why are fonts so important?
When you’re designing a new website, it can be easy to settle for the default fonts and focus on other fonts, seemingly more important decisions. However, not only would this is a mistake: you’d be missing out on the power that the fonts have and the benefits they can bring to your site. Here are some examples of how choosing the right fonts will benefit your website and your business.
Fonts help with branding
Choosing that perfect and right font for your website can make a huge difference for your branding. From the logo to all the numbers, right down to the copy, your font choices really matter and establish a sort of non-verbal communication with your readers. Because of the way with which your eyes respond unconsciously to visual cues (we wrote more about this when we talked about storytelling and UX), your website’s fonts can influence your reader’s immediate impression of your brand.
Getting the fonts right will help you in successfully communicating your brand’s values and intentions. Choosing the wrong fonts and you risk a making disconnect between what you say for your brand, and what your brand talks about itself.
Consider what you want to communicate with your brand – is it luxury and trustworthy vibe or chunky and honest, or fresh and cool? – and choose fonts that help to communicate such messages.
Fonts are vital for UX
Typography is one of the most critical parameters of UX design. Choosing the wrong font for your copy and navigation can make the text illegible and your website completely unusable.
So here is the list of questions you should ask yourself when picking the best font for your website:
Say If your chosen font has a decent range of weights, meets accessibility, x-height, and contrast ratio standards and can be read easily on any device, it’s probably a safe bet. Just because you prefer a very knowledgeable and very attractive design and go for a font, doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice for your website. Once you’ve decided on the font, it’s always worth carrying out some user testing methods to see how readers respond to your font choices.
All technical fields have their share of jargon and typography. Here’s a list of all the most important terms you might find when researching fonts, and what they mean.
The biggest divide in the fonts world is between the serif fonts and sans-serif fonts.
Serif fonts are so-called because their letters have serifs, small lines or strokes which are also attached to the end of the main part of the letter. Serifs originated in Roman stone carving, and are believed to be linked to the manner in which words were painted onto stone before they were carved. Serif typefaces are also called ‘roman’ because of this. Garamond and Times New Roman are also two classic serif fonts.
Types of serif vary from old-style, transitional, modern and slab. Sans-serif fonts are, unsurprisingly those fonts which don’t use serifs. These fonts typically appear more minimalist and modern, and they’re also based on late 19th and early 20th-century signage and advertising typefaces. In contrast to Serif fonts, sans-serif fonts are sometimes also called ‘gothic’. Helvetica is also the most famous of the sans-serif fonts.
Types of sans-serif font include grotesque, neo-grotesque, geometric and humanist.You should read well that a certain Google Font is aimed to be used for display or for text, but what’s the difference between the two categories? Text fonts are used in the main text of a website or app and need to be highly-legible, even at small sizes.
Text fonts are typically clean, have wider spacing, and are less chunky than display fonts, meaning they work better in small sizes. Display fonts, on the other hand, are predominantly designed to look stylish and very original in titles, adding personality and punch, with slightly reduced legibility which would make them less ideal for use in body text.
Advantages of using the Google Fonts for your website
Google Fonts is a collection of 915 fonts, all available to use for free on your website. All you have to do is to include a call to the fonts you want to use in your HTML and you’re good to go. Here are some cool advantages of using Google Fonts on your website:
1. Improve your website’s appearance for free
Google Fonts gives you access to nearly a thousand (mostly) great-looking fonts for free, giving you the freedom to choose between a whole range of professional-quality typefaces. Just a few years ago, the equivalent selection could have cost you thousands of dollars.
2. Boost consistency across platforms
Thanks to the fact that the vast majority of current web browsers support Google Fonts, including Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer.
3. Speeds up your site – and the internet
By using Google Fonts on your website can make your site look great – and boost its performance. Check out the video from Google which explains how.
The thing with choosing fonts…
If you’re building the website and you’re not precisely a designer, you’ll find yourself facing a challenge when it comes to choosing the right fonts for it.
It’s definitely not an easy task. Not even for those who work in the design.
There are so many to choose from. Where to start? How can you know if you’re choosing the right one? How to combine two fonts?
Well, those are the questions that you’ll be able to answer with time, gaining experience and learning about typography, if you’d like.
But there’s a shortcut. You can also rely on inspiring yourself by other designers’ combinations.
We prepared for you some proof combinations that work.
These are thought for websites with a modern approach, or that are looking to go through a brand renewal.
All the combinations use Google fonts. And they showcase one typeface for the headings (marked as H) and another one for the body (marked as B).
There’re no weird or too-fanny fonts in here, which can quickly make your design look unprofessional.
All of them are very solid and trustable typefaces with proper legibility. And the combinations are meant to create balance so your website looks modern and polished.
How to use these combinations
If you’re using a WordPress theme, then all you need to do is go to Theme Options » Typography in your WordPress Dashboard.
You’ll find a drop-down menu for the Headings and another one for the Body font. That menu offers you all available fonts from Google, so just choose the one you need and click Save.
→ If you’re not using one of our themes or if you’re coding yourself a website, there’re two steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Embed the fonts into your website by adding the embed code as the first element in the < head > of your HTML document.
Step 2: Declare all the fonts that will be used for body and headings in your styles.css file.
You’ll find both of the embedded code and the CSS code below each combination, so you can copy-paste them to your files.
10 best Google Fonts for your website
Montserrat, created by Julieta Ulanovsky, was inspired by Old posters and Signage. It is the Sans-Serif font which has got excellent readability. It’s best used for headings and titles on the page. And there are 18 unique styles that are available. It pairs best with Open Sans and Raleway fonts.
2. Oswald –
Oswald is another simple font for blogger which looks beautiful yet readable. It is a reworking of the classic style and fits best for body content and heading for articles. Available in 6 different styles, Oswald is best paired with Roboto and Lato typefaces.
3. Zilla Slab
Zilla Slab is the popular font used by Mozilla for its own products like the Firefox browser. It has smooth curves for a better look and usability. Due to the font’s lightweight, Zilla Slab is the perfect fit for body content. It is available in 10 different font weights and can even be used for headings. It pairs best with Roboto and Open Sans fonts.
4. Open Sans
Designed by Steve Matteson, Open Sans is my favorite font to use on a blog or website. It looks neat and is optimized for print, web, and mobile interfaces.
Available in 10 different styles, Open Sans is best suited for Heading, however, it can be used for body content without a glitch. And it pairs best with Oswald and Montserrat.
Bitter is another popular font that is designed for comfortable reading on any computer or device. It is designed by Sol Matas and has only 3 styles available. The ‘Regular’ style is thicker than other ‘regular’ typefaces.
It can be best used for website headings and sidebar. And pairs best with Open Sans and Source Sans Pro.
Raleway is an elegant typeface that looks easy on the eyes and professional at the same time. It is also available in 18 different styles and intended for large size usages like headings and page titles.
Open Sans and Josefin Slab look excellent when paired with Raleway.
7. Nunito Sans
Available in 14 different styles, Nunito Sans is a well-balanced font with smooth curves. It looks good on both the article body and page headings. However, I prefer to use it for the sidebar. Nunito Sans pairs well with Roboto and Montserrat typefaces.
As you may have already guessed, Ubuntu is the font used by the popular open-source Operating System which goes by the same name. It has edges that look cool for technology-oriented websites and blogs. Available in 8 different weights, Ubuntu typeface is most-suitable for content body and graphic designing. And it also goes well with Open Sans and Oswald for a professional yet elegant appearance.
9. Josefin Sans
Josefin Sans comes under the group of fancy fonts and thus widely used for graphics designing work. However, due to its elegance, it can be used on a website without much problem. It is available in 10 different styles and looks neat for heading and sidebar titles. Moreover, it goes best with the Open Sans and Lato.
If you’re using Josefin Slab, make sure to use a large font size since it can be harder to read in smaller variants.
Arvo is another professionally designed typeface that looks pleasant on all screen devices. Due to its thickness and curves, it can also be used as a fancy font. It’s also suitable for prints and originates from an Estonian name meaning “number, value, worth.” Arvo is available in 4 different weights and it pairs best with the Oswald and Lato for a polished look.
Lato is a very classic yet stylish font that pairs well with almost all of the fonts for blogs on this page. It was designed by Łukasz Dziedzic in 2010 and has been widely adopted afterward. Currently, it is adopted by more than 8,600,000 websites all over the world.
It’s a perfect font for the article body due to its simplicity and ease of reading and it’s also available in 10 different styles. Lato pairs well with Open Sans and Raleway.