Use The Right Font In Typography – End The Mystery!
The use of typography in web design can drastically affect the overall design of a website. It is essential to use fonts that help portray the appropriate message to the viewer and fit the persona of the website and brand. Today, there are countless fonts available for use in web design, making font choice challenging. To get the most from these various typographic styles, designers must understand the different font types and how they are best used within a great web design.
Traditionally, there are four main font type classifications: Serif, San Serif, Scripts, and Decorative fonts. Within these four categories, there are many subcategories; however, they are all variations of the same font types. These following classifications are generally used in the same ways to create quality and properly emphasized web design:
- Serif – Serif fonts are constructed with curves and varying widths to create very traditional looking, classically styled typefaces. The subcategories include Old Style, Transitional, Neoclassical & Didone, Slab, Clarendon, and Glyphic fonts. Examples of serif fonts are Times, Bodoni, Rockwell, Fritz Quadrata, and many others. Serif fonts, due to their design and the slightly fancy curves, are generally used for body copy since they are easier to read, although they are also used for headlines, titles, and other areas of emphasis in a web design.
- San Serif – San Serif fonts are squared and solid throughout, of various weights, and designed with strictly angles rather than curves. Subcategories include Grotesque, Square, Humanistic, and Geometric fonts. Examples of San Serif fonts include Helvetica, Cachet, Futura, and Gill Sans, as well as others designed to be more businesslike, and easy to read. San Serif fonts are also main choices for body copy, used equally for emphasis based on the feel of the various fonts and how they fit the web design.
- Script – Script fonts look like handwriting and include the subcategories of Formal, Casual, Calligraphic, and Blackletter and Lombardic, most of which are self-explanatory as to their styling. Examples of script fonts include Young Baroque, Brush Script, Vivaldi, and Goudy Text. Scripts, since they are curvier and frequently more ornate, are generally suitable for larger text that is emphasized, such as callouts, titles, and headers. Scripts are not generally used for body copy in a web design, since they are more difficult to read in smaller sizes.
- Decorative – Decorative fonts come in many fun and fancy styles; they are great for text that needs emphasis and must stand out from the rest of the web design. Major subcategories of decorative fonts include Grunge, Psychedelic, and Graffiti, although there are many other subcategories and countless decorative styles of font.
Appropriate Use of Typefaces
With so many typefaces, designers and web design clients can easily become overwhelmed trying to decide which ones are best for their website. The choice should then depend on two major things: where it is being used in the web design and how the feel and overall message of the website must be. A business web design may include more traditional Serif and San Serif fonts to portray strength and confidence, while a wine retailer’s website might use Scripts for emphasis. Decorative fonts can be used for children’s websites or anywhere the mood and message is more fun and carefree.
Each typeface can create emotion in the reader, so choice should be based on the different type classifications and how appropriate they are for body copy and other parts of the web design. By combining the different type classifications and using fonts based on their purpose, the challenge of choosing the right fonts for any web design can be greatly reduced!