There are many decisions a new website owner must make, and one of them is selecting a font for the content of their website. Often clients ask me to try out different fonts to see how they look. I’ve now made this process easier by creating my very own font-selection tool.
There are several things to consider when choosing a font for your website.
First, you want the website font to be readable. Generally speaking, fonts that are “sans-serif” are considered a bit more readable than “serif” fonts, but some studies that compare different fonts have found mixed results for different font types and sizes. The study noted:
Overall, Verdana was the most preferred font, while Times was the least preferred font.
Secondly, fonts all have different emotional characteristics/values or “ethos” or even personalities. Some are more casual, while others are more formal. Think about your small business clients and what type of products or services you are selling and pick a font that strikes an appropriate mood.
Thirdly, try not to mix and match fonts on your website. Mixing font types just makes your valuable content harder to read.
Lastly, the font size, font color, font weight, and background color will have an impact on readability. The study mentioned above noted that contrast was a very important factor, so make sure there’s enough contrast between your font, and your background. Font size is also a huge factor so make sure your font size isn’t too small – ask someone over 40 (who has lost their near-sighted vision) to take a look at your fonts. The Witchita study found:
Older Adults are more accurate with, and prefer larger font sizes. They also prefer sans serif fonts over serif fonts.
The Witchita study stated that for all age groups:
Fonts at the 10-point size were read more slowly than fonts at the 12-point size.
Here’s my font selection tool. Simply click on the font name to see what the font looks like. I’ve specifically chosen this subset of fonts because they are widely available on both Mac’s and PC’s.
If you find this tool useful, please do leave me a comment. I just love comments! They encourage me to build more tools like the font selector. ðŸ™‚
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.