Choosing the Best Font for Your Website

A noted style guru once said, “An individual decides what sort of person they want to be taken for and dresses accordingly.” The same goes for your ecommerce site. The look you choose for your site has a definite bearing upon how potential users perceive it. For this reason, choosing the best font for your website is more than just a good idea. It’s an absolute necessity.

Font vs. Typeface

Mainstream people tend to say “font” when they really mean “typeface”. What’s the difference? Font actually refers to the style of the letter within a type family. In other words, within the Calibri typeface family, a letter can be rendered in bold or italic and different point sizes. These are the fonts within the typeface.

But does it really matter in the overall scheme of things? Well, it depends.

“For most people in most situations, those terms can swap around without any trouble,” said design expert Tobias Frere-Jones in an interview with Co.Design. “The distinction would matter in type design, obviously, but also contexts which involve engineering, like app development or web design.”

In other words, when you’re talking to a web developer or an app designer, you should say typeface rather than font. You’ll then use font when you’re referring to a size or style within the typeface. And, so shall we for the remainder of this article.

How Typefaces Communicate

Do you want your product to be perceived as playful, serious, elegant or technically sophisticated? The typeface you choose plays a significant role in telegraphing your intent. The two primary typeface categories are serif and sans serif.

This is an example of a serif typeface.

This is an example of a sans-serif typeface.

Serifs harken back to the golden days of print media and convey an air of authority. Meanwhile, sans serif, which has been embraced by the tech community, confers modernity. If you’re trying to be perceived as contemporary, you’ll want to go with sans serif. If you want to project gravitas, you’ll find serifs will help you reflect that image.

Mixing and Matching

You can establish a hierarchy for your heds, sub-heds and body copy by mixing typefaces. The style you choose for your body copy, or “anchor” type should be easy on the eyes and legible, even in smaller font sizes, so it plays just as well on a mobile device as it does o0

n a desktop screen. If you’re trying to convey a sense of elegance, using a cursive typeface alongside your logo is a good start. You can then use a serif typeface to differentiate your heds from your body copy in a sans serif font.

This will make your pages look a lot more interesting than sticking with the same typeface throughout. It also helps users zero in on key information. With that said, you’ll want to stick with three typefaces at most. As you’re considering how to sell ebooks online, you’ll want to pay attention to how you can use different typefaces to attract a user’s eyes to your products.

Typefaces and Load Time

Different typefaces take varying amounts of time to load. Further, the number of typefaces employed will also factor in to rendering times. Regardless of how attractive a typeface might be, if it slows your site, you should avoid using it. Remember, most user will only give a page three seconds to load before thy bounce out of the site.

Within the parameters listed above, choosing the best font (aka typeface) for your website is largely a matter of taste. Just keep in mind what you’re trying to say about your site. You’ll also want to consider what you need specific lines of text to do and how quickly you want your site to load.