Almost all of us are aware of the importance of certain design elements in web development, such as image placement, heading organization, and content structure of the website. But there is one design element that few people think of when it comes to creating websites: typography.
Font choice and typography are a crucial part of web design. They allow you to influence your audience’s emotions, choices, and also are an important part of building a brand and creating a positive user experience.
Why are Fonts Important?
Typography choice is crucial because of a few reasons. Visitors to your website will judge it instantly, and they will make judgements based on looks rather than the actual content of the site. Fonts play an important role in making your site stand out from competitors and they also bring all the elements of your site together to create a cohesive design.
Fonts are also important to your site because they can help you develop a brand. By choosing different fonts, you can create a unique, appealing website that flows together and also represents your brand or company in a distinctive way. A great example of this can be found with IKEA. By using a variety of sans-serif fonts to convey modernism and minimalism, the website gives us that familiar feeling uniquely associated with IKEA.
Another important part of web design is accessibility. Fonts can determine the readability of your site, and if users can’t easily read your material, they are most likely going to turn away in favor of a more accessible website. This is important to keep in mind because although the goal of a brand is to strive for individuality among its competitors, it’s also good not to stray too far from the basics as it can make it difficult for your audience to access your content. Remember: Typography exists to complement your content and make it easier for readers to have a better time on your site.
How to Choose Good Fonts
I know it can be exciting to dive in and start pairing fonts together for your website right away. But before you do that, there are a few things you need to lay out.
First, decide what kind of content you will have on your site because you want your content to match your font choice. Does the typography need to be linear and professional or is there some wiggle-room for a little bit of fun? This is important to decide right off the bat because this decision will determine the tone and voice of your website.
Fonts for Different Contexts
- Serif fonts can convey: tradition, respectability, reliability, comfort
- Script fonts can convey: elegance, affection, creativity
- Display fonts can convey: friendliness, fun, uniqueness, expressiveness
- Modern fonts can convey: strength, style, chic, progressiveness
- Sans-serif fonts can convey: stability, objectiveness, clean and modern minimalism
A good thing to keep in mind when pairing fonts together is that you are aiming for contrast, not two things totally different from one another. There should be noticeable differences between the two, but there should also be some similarities in order to keep your website cohesive and united.
When fonts are too different from one another, it can affect the readability of the site, and also distract the user. For this reason, it’s best to keep it simple.
While varying fonts on your site is a good thing and can be an invaluable tool for making your website distinguishable, you also don’t want to have too many different fonts on your site. It’s best to keep the number around two or three so that readers don’t get distracted and the website still flows smoothly.
If you want or need to use more than just the two or three, instead of choosing a whole different font, it would be a good idea to consider using variations of the fonts already on your site. An example of this would be using bold or italics. You can also utilize size variations as well.
Good Font Combinations
Now that you’ve laid out the groundwork for your website goals and the type of font you’ll need to use, we can start pairing together some different options in order to create a unique look. There are many different combinations, with thousands of font options already included in different software and website creation tools. Here we’ll go over just a few of the most common and practical font pairing combinations for websites.
1. Archivo Black & Roboto
This combination is good for websites with a professional style. These san-serif fonts pair well together because the boldness of Archivo Black really accenentuates the feautures of the Roboto font. I see Roboto used in headings a lot of the time, but it’s interesting to see it used as a body text. This bold combination ensures that your audience will be able to read your content with ease, which is ideal for creating a positive user experience.
2. Libre Baskerville & Source Sans Pro
This serif and sans-serif combo creates a unique atmosphere in a website. Libre Baskerville gives off a tone of creative professionalism when paired with the body text in Source Sans Pro. This pairing is great for creating contrast throughout your website and grabbing your readers’ attention. Personally, I think pairing sans-serif fonts with another serif font as a headline makes for a crisp, clean look that’s great for any kind of company or business.
3. Lora & Merriweather
These two fonts are very similar in nature to one another, yet they compliment each other beautifully. This combination features two very popular serif fonts: Lora and Merriweather. This pairing is extremely legible and great for websites with lots of text. It’s not too busy, but it keeps readers engaged with your content.
4. Open Sans and Source Sans
Steering away from the cleaner, more professional typography combinations brings us to the pairing of Open Sans and Source Sans. Open Sans is a warm, inviting font that is perfect for sites with a unique and creative theme. It’s cute, fun, and allows for a bit of deviation from the norm.
Additional Font Pairing Resources
Although the combinations listed above are widely popular and are all great choices for any website, there are thousands more combinations to choose from. If none of these combinations speak to you, here are some additional resources to help you find suitable typography combinations for your websites.
And if you still can’t find something satisfactory to your taste, don’t be afraid to create your own! With thousands upon thousand of fonts and typefaces out there, there are millions of different combinations and pairings. Don’t let this list limit you in what you can and can’t do. There’s always more, and with the ever-evolving landscape of web design, who’s to say your new font pairing creation won’t be the next hot combo in the typography world?