Create Visually Appealing Pages with the Correct Fonts
Thousands of fonts, which are also known as typefaces, are available for print and online publishing. So many choices can be overwhelming, and lead some designers to choose too many fonts. Just because a font is available, doesn’t mean it should be used. Or at least, it should only be used in the correct context.
With thousands of fonts from which to choose, it’s easy to get carried away. However, you must be careful about the fonts you choose for your website or printed design. Fonts are the building blocks of the page. It may be tempting to include many different fonts on one page, but it’s rarely a good idea. The purpose of type is not only to convey information, but also to convey feeling.
When choosing fonts for your website or print design, think of the feeling you want to convey. This will have an impact on the fonts you choose. For example:
A concordant design is when you use only one font without much variety in its size or weight. This gives a formal or sedate feeling. Most wedding invitations use concordant design. If your website or design is marketed towards an upscale or sophisticated market, then a concordant design would probably work well.
A conflicting design combines two or more fonts that are similar in size, style, or weight. If the fonts aren’t exactly the same, but they aren’t all that different either, then it creates conflict. Fonts in a conflicting design are disturbing, and not pleasing to the eye. The internet is full of conflicting design, and it never works. Avoid it.
A contrasting design results when you combine fonts that are obviously different in size, style, or weight. This creates a visually appealing page that attracts attention for all the right reasons.
After you decide on the feeling you want to convey, you can go ahead and pick your fonts. Remember, a concordant design uses only one font. A conflicting design uses two or more fonts that are too similar in style. And a contrasting design combines fonts, usually no more than two, that are different in size, style, or weight.
The Difference between Sans Serif and Serif Fonts
Serif fonts have serifs, or slant like edges on the ends of the letters. The curved strokes in serif fonts go from thick to thin. That’s because serif fonts are based on an old style of writing which was done with an old-fashioned wedge-tipped pen. Examples of serif fonts are: Times New Roman, Goudy Oldstyle, and Garamond.
Sans Serif fonts have no serifs. The word ‘sans’ means ‘without’ in French, hence the name sans serif. Sans serif fonts didn’t become popular until the early part of the twentieth century. Sans serif fonts have no thick to thin curves, and are basically the same thickness throughout. Examples of sans serif fonts are: Franklin Gothic, Arial, and Helvetica.
Serif fonts are normally used for body copy. It’s believed that serif fonts are easier to read because the serifs guide the eye from one letter to the next. A popular font for websites is Times New Roman. Many websites use this font for body copy. Sans Serif fonts, on the other hand, are normally used for headings and short lines of text. These rules aren’t set in stone, but they do take readability into account.
Script and Decorative Fonts
Script and decorative fonts are often beautiful, but should be used in moderation. Script fonts emulate cursive or fancy handwriting, and aren’t easy to read. Because of this, script fonts should be used sparingly if at all.
Decorative fonts are fun, and allow you to be creative. They are especially good if your topic lends itself to a specific theme. For example, a Halloween themed website could use a font with Halloween characters. A horror movie website could use a font that looks like dripping blood. However, you should only use one decorative font at a time.
Be mindful of the fonts you choose so you can create visually appealing pages time and again.