Choosing Fonts

Fonts are an essential element of design, and choosing the ideal fonts can have a tremendous impact on how others perceive your work. With enough knowledge and experimentation, identifying suitable fonts should become effortless.


Many computer users, and particularly those familiar with typing programs, frequently interchange font and typeface terms. This likely stems from decades of selecting fonts through font menus in word processing and desktop publishing software.  However, when we examine typography closer, there is clearly a distinction between font and typeface.

Typfaces are collections of character designs that share specific characteristics such as width, spacing, height, angles and serifs. A typeface may be used in various applications ranging from body text to display fonts, each typeface requires its own set of design goals.  Designers who create fonts for body text often strive to maximize legibility while those creating fonts for headings may aim to convey specific tones or impressions.

Typographers group fonts into families, which are collections of styles related by weight (lightness or darkness) and stylistic variants like bold, italic or condensed versions. This structure allows type designers to create families suitable for various applications; Helvetica includes regular, italic bold and condensed fonts within its family of fonts.

Another key distinction lies between lining and non-lining figures. Most modern fonts use numeric digits drawn as lining figures to match the height of upper-case letters.  Hoefler Text offers non-lining figures drawn in line with lower case letter height, which tend to be less distracting when running text than their lining counterparts. Font designers choose between them depending on desired visual effects or printing standards when selecting font designs with either style of figures.

Serif And Sans Serif

Fonts can have a major effect on the look of any brand, creating an impression of professionalism, elegance, youth or freshness.  How do you choose one that best represents your business?

Serif and sans serif fonts are two major categories of fonts. Serif fonts feature small decorative lines added to letters in a regular and artful fashion while sans serifs lack such accents. Serif fonts have been around for hundreds of years and have evolved over time to express various emotions and ideas effectively.

Serifs have long been recognized for being more legible than sans serifs at smaller sizes, as well as conveying authority and credibility, making them ideal for brands seeking to convey stability and reliability like financial institutions, law firms and other traditional businesses.

Sans serifs are increasingly used in digital media. Studies have proven their readability on screens with lower resolution than print media, while their friendly and approachability make them a popular choice for website, app and logo designs.

Many associate sans serif fonts with “office presentations” or corporate styles, but they can also be highly expressive and creative. Some popular sans serif fonts include Helvetica, Futura and Verdana while Outlaw and Morris Troy are more playful examples that stand out.

Body Copy

Body copy is the main text in any print document, webpage, or digital work and should be easy for readers to comprehend without being disorienting or confusing. Furthermore, it should fit with the overall theme and style of your project.

Body copy should tell a story and highlight your product or service in an engaging manner, using simple language without industry jargon that might alienate potential customers. A solid body copy will allow customers to make an informed decision while building trust; taking some of the weight off headlines while conveying essential information to target audiences.

Though many fonts can work for body copy, you should choose one that is easy to read at 14 points. Test it in person first to make sure the font fits your needs.  If it proves difficult, consider an alternate font option instead.

Add variety to your design by mixing fonts from one family. This will give your design a more cohesive appearance and allows you to bold or italicize text without losing readability.  For instance, Alegreya font family offers light regular bold and black options that work perfectly together.

For added visual flair in your writing, consider using a decorative font. This type of font stands out more from its peers, and works well when used in headers or larger elements to emphasize important information. However, take care not to overuse them, since too much decorative font can quickly overwhelm a page.

Header Copy

For website headers, choose fonts that are both legible and functional. This ensures users can read what you are saying easily, making your brand stand out from competitors. One great choice is League Spartan, a modern sans serif with strong structure and geometric forms.  This pairs nicely with elegant traditional style of Libre Baskerville or modern Roman font Cinzel.  Both options pair nicely with Lora’s soft curves for an aesthetically pleasing style header text header text.

For formal pieces like reports and presentations, using classic serif fonts like Bodoni (described by Massimo Vignelli as one of the’most elegant typefaces ever designed) will add sophistication and elegance. Pairing Bodoni with sans serifs such as Kollektif and Montserrat provides a seamless combination of form and function that ensures success in every report or presentation.

When writing longer headlines, choose a taller and bolder font to grab viewers’ attention and appear more prominently next to large images or logos. A great option for tall headlines is Visby with its geometric style font suited for body copy and headers alike, including lowercase letters, numerals, fractions, punctuation marks, and symbols.

White Space

White space is an integral component of typography, particularly for text blocks that need to be broken up into smaller segments. When utilized properly, white space can create an atmosphere of calm while making content more easily read and consumed by readers.

Though most don’t recognize white space as an element of design, pioneering Swiss designer Jan Tschichold recognized its significance back in 1930. He advocated treating it more actively rather than passively as part of any well-planned layout.  Since then designers have realized white space is no mere wasteful space but an integral component to good layouts.

Typography defines two forms of white space: micro and macro. Micro white space refers to spaces between individual elements such as letters, text lines and paragraphs, such as paddings and margins, while macro white space refers to spaces between columns and graphics.

White space allows designers to establish an orderly hierarchy for their text content and emphasize certain parts. This helps readers quickly focus on what matters while still being able to read all of it.

White space offers another advantage to designers: it can help reduce the number of characters needed in designs, saving both time and money while increasing readability. Furthermore, this can enhance overall appearance.

One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to add white space is through using a grid system. This tool makes organizing content straightforward, making responsive websites and mobile designs possible.

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