Design | 10 min read
What Are the Best Fonts for Websites?
Choosing fonts when creating a website often can be underestimated. However, picking the right font can have a huge impact on the final look and feel of your web design. Fonts are inevitable components for any digital products.
In this article:
If you want your visitors to get an overall impression of your website, pay attention to how the fonts look. Here we mean the readability, font cleanliness, and proper placement on the site. The message you want to convey also depends on the type of font. Just have a look below.
It’s an example of how changeable the tone of the message may be according to the font type. 3 different font types create 3 different attitudes to the conveyed message. The trickiest thing is to identify the proper tone of the presented text.
And that’s why choosing the proper font is extremely important. The task of picking fonts is akin to a puzzle. You do a lot of experiments, try hundreds of fonts, use them in different ways to choose the one and only one.
As the designers, we have run this procedure many times. So, check out our hints for finding the proper font.
The meaning of font and typeface
In typographical terminology, the terms font and typeface are often used interchangeably. However, that’s not true.
A font is a graphical depiction of text. It includes different typefaces, point size, weight, colors, and design.
A typeface is a group of several fonts with a specific weight and size that belong to the same family.
Inherently, the typeface is a combination of specific fonts, whereas the fonts are a summary of typeface + style + size.
For editing and creating fonts, we recommend using Adobe Illustrator, FontLab Studio, Glyphs, and Robofont.
Types of fonts
The font you choose has a great impact on customers’ attitude to your website and brand accordingly. A perfect font-brand match won’t resonate with people who see it.
To make an excellent match, let’s clarify what types of fonts are the best for different marketing solutions. So, there are four main categories of fonts to choose from:
Serif Fonts – letters have small features on the ends of strokes.
Some common Serif typefaces are Times New Roman, Georgia, Palatino, and Garamond. Considered to be the best fonts for print design and logos.
Sans-serif Fonts – letters without serifs.
Common Sans Serif typefaces include Arial, Helvetica, and Tahoma. Best fonts for body texts.
Script Fonts – resemble handwriting.
Common script fonts are Alex Brush, Pacifico, Great Vibes, Lobster and Allura. Best fonts for brochures, wedding services websites and greeting cards printing.
Decorative Fonts – informal fonts with exaggerated serifs.
Common decorative fonts are Atlantika, Australia Skate, Authentica, Boho, Boucherie. Best fonts for headlines.
Websafe and non-websafe fonts
Websafe fonts are the pre-installed fonts by many operating systems. To be regarded as websafe, a font must be familiar to most browsers.
However, not all operating systems have the same installed fonts, so you can use a websafe font stack to choose several fonts you want to support.
Non-websafe fonts can be displayed on various websites diversely. Remember, if a website visitor’s operating system does not support the specified font, the browser selects an alternative one. This is how non-websafe fonts work.
Fonts description and the message they convey
It is beneficial to look at fonts from the other perspective and study the messages they convey. A misconception can bring rather more harm to your brand than you can imagine.
Serif fonts are decent, stable, and conventional. If you want your target audience to feel that they can trust you, Serif fonts are the best choice.
Sans Serif fonts are basic and straightforward. They convey the message of trustworthiness and transparency. Sans Serif fonts are commonly used in graphic and web design.
Script fonts are cozy and flowing. They are associated with sincerity and privacy. Script fonts best suit companies in creative industries because they erase the burdens in communication with customers.
Decorative fonts are sophisticated and can be fun. They are used for interaction and entertaining the clients. However, customers may get used to it quickly, so don’t overuse decorative fonts.
The most important thing with choosing a font is to make sure the letters are quickly lucid, so your readers don’t have to pay much attention to identify letters.
Lifehacks from Cadabra Studio
The right font can change the whole project from drab to fab. Fonts set the tone, grab users' attention, and breathe life into the designer's vision.
Knowing this, we’d like to share some life hacks for choosing the proper typeface and font:
Select a typeface for the content that is most prevalent in your project (most likely your body copy). The typeface you choose will lead to selecting the proper fonts for headlines and subheads (e.g., in your blog).
It’s better to stay away from a script or decorative typefaces for various descriptions on your website. Most Script and Decorative fonts have low legibility, which slows down reading because visitors are trying to identify the text.
Decorative typefaces can be used in a logo. However, for multiple paragraphs in the body text, we recommend using Sans Serif fonts.
Limit the number of fonts. Don’t make the users get confused while reading.
Pick no more than 10 font size sets.
Always check letter spacing.
Use different color shades for texts. It helps to build hierarchy in texts.
Cadabra Studio font expertize
These fonts are considered to be formal and are used for digital books, blogs, or magazines. Readers can easily follow the letterforms.
This category is one of the most versatile among others. As the letterforms are clean, minimal, and modern-looking, Sans Serif can add some dynamism to your design.
Script fonts look stylish and may be associated with an old-world vibe. If you have a particular design style that matches the script fonts, don’t hesitate to use them.
These fonts are eye-catching and designed with a specific purpose — to add some decorations and ornaments to your website. Moreover, they have a very distinctive look.
What is the best font to use for a website?
Sans Serif fonts for web use are still considered the best by designers. And here is the reason. As screen resolutions dramatically improve, Serif fonts are becoming easier to read on the web pages. For example, a content-heavy website like Medium uses a Serif font.
And what should you use for presentations and emails? What are the best free and paid fonts? Below, we made a comprehensive list of the best fonts for different purposes.
Best of the best
Best paid fonts:
Neue Helvetica, Avenir Next, Helvetica, Proxima Nova, Avenir.
Best free fonts:
Inter, Morganite, the Circus Display, Arkipelago, Tradesmith, Colus.
Best fonts for blog writing:
Roboto, Open Sans, Georgia, PT Sans, Source Sans Pro.
Best fonts for presentation:
Helvetica, Garamond, Futura, Gill Sans, Rockwell.
Best fonts for headings:
Bebas Neue, Aileron, Simplifica, Corbet Condensed Italic, Baufra.
Best fonts for emails:
Georgia, Verdana, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS, Arial.
Best sources to get fonts
There are myriads of sources you can download pretty fonts for free. With the help of our designers, we narrowed down the list to the top 5 websites. Just have a look.
Google Fonts website is the first source to come up on the top. It is akin to a huge library featuring more than 800 font families of various types.
Font Squirrel is a reliable source for a helper for many designers. Most of the fonts come with commercial licenses, so check carefully before downloading them. Make your life easier, avoid complications.
This site stores over 32,000 free fonts from over 2,100 designers. Despite creative fonts, you can also find here inspiration and professional communication with more than 746,000 members who enjoy downloading free fonts.
DaFont supports fonts only for personal use, but there are plenty of fonts that come with commercial licenses as well. A distinguishing feature of this site is the font categorization. It makes browsing the fonts collection easier. The site includes different themes like horror-themed fonts, video game fonts, valentine themed fonts, etc.
The tricky name may confuse you, but the 1001 Fonts website includes more than 9,000 fonts. The site is regularly updated.
Trending fonts 2020
In order to stay up-to-date, follow the latest trends in digital typography. With trendy fonts, the content on your website will look relevant and fresh.
Ambit. Based on the early grotesques style, it was adapted for modern use. Seven weights and a distinctive look popularize this font within branding, packaging, and editorial projects (both printed and online).
Helvetica Now. This typeface is a complete redesign of the classic Helvetica for the 21st century. Every letterform was revised and redrawn.
Inter. Inter is a typeface carefully crafted and designed for computer screens. It features a tall x-height to aid in readability of mixed-case and lower-case text. Several OpenType features are provided as well, like contextual alternates that adjust punctuation depending on the shape of surrounding glyphs, slashed zero for when you need to disambiguate "0" from "o", tabular numbers, etc.
Avenir Next Pro. The set of Avenir Next’s contains ultra-light, thin, light, regular, medium, demi bold, bold and heavy, in four styles each.
Plantin. With its rich texture, Plantin is a perfect font for editorial and book design.
Futura PT. This font is a mix of similar obliques, eight condensed styles coordinated in letterforms, metrics to perform better work.
Knowing the peculiarities of fonts helps you to choose the best one for your website and stand out against competitors. Using the pieces of advice we have provided, you can design your website with fonts that reflect your company’s style while being readable, bright, and eye-catching.
If you have any questions concerning the best font, we are always glad to help you. Get creative with Cadabra Studio!