Online marketing has been growing strongly and sitting parallel with offline marketing. In this context, websites work like the center of most business’ marketing strategy. That said, designing a website, in which choosing how many fonts to use, is of great importance.
Using too many fonts, you might lose the coherence. Using only one font, you might end up failing to highlight certain key features. While using more than 3 fonts can create strong impact for websites of some businesses, using more than 2 fonts seems to be too confusing for others. Read on to find out tips to make the right decision on how many fonts to use for your site.
1. Readability Is the Key Factor
No matter how many fonts you’re using, your content needs to be readable because your website is there to be read. But it’s not just about the readability of a newspaper that you’re holding in your hand. We’re dealing with the instant world of digital marketing where everything is in a fast pace. Your consumers come, click, scan and go. If your website is not easy to read with too many fonts, then there’s a high chance that they won’t come back.
For example, calligraphy font and typewriter font might not be easy to read for some. They can even become really unreadable if they’re put on a background with many different design elements like bubble graphics or radiant colors.
Having said that, website designers are highly recommended to consider several factors below when picking a font for their sites:
- Older adults with vision problems
- Monitors with poor quality
- Mobile phone users with tiny screens. This is a crucial point to look into if you know of the widespread use of mobile phones these days. They’re used for almost everything online, from shopping to social media networking to emailing. A large percentage of your website audiences is reading your content on their mobile phones.
2. Consistency Is of Great Importance
Otherwise, your site will look unstructured. The word “consistency” is often associated with a boring design, but this is far from the truth. A consistent website will help readers quickly navigate through different sections of the site to find what they need. An inconsistent website can slow the readers down and this means they can easily lose interests. The sooner their interests are affected by a poorly structured website, the sooner they will leave it.
Using too many fonts can easily lead to an inconsistent website because it easily distracts and confuses your readers. Put differently, if you use more than three fonts, it’s a real challenge to have a consistent arrangement and a clear website structure.
In addition, limiting the number of fonts to less than three can save your time. And time is certainly money, especially in this digital age. The reason is that it reduces the time your designers have to spend on website development and testing.
Consistency is also reflected in the website identity, which is part of your overall brand identity. Lots of texts can lead to the loss of identity, which means your site is very likely to be less memorable. For example, if you’re visiting 10 floor tile suppliers’ website to choose one for your new house, it’s very likely that you won’t remember the site that doesn’t have a clear identity.
Using the same font throughout the whole site will create an identity or a theme for your site. A clear identity indicates a reliable, trustworthy company. This means you have more opportunities for new business or maintain a strong relationship with current customers.
3. Be Aware of Different Fonts in a Family
There’re fonts, especially modern fonts, that include within them different available versions like regular, italic, bold, bold italic. This makes up a font family. In addition, a font can include different variations that have been developed.
For example, Helvetica font has both bold and italic versions. Under Helvetica Bold, there’s Condensed, Oblique, Condensed Oblique, Roman. Besides, this font has a wide variety of variations, including Helvetica Neue (Bold, Light, Medium, Heavy, Roman, Thin, Ultra Light), Helvetica Cyrillic (Bold, Inclined, Bold Inclined, Upright).
Different font versions in one family are designed to work together as one. Even though this is well-known, it’s still controversial in website design. Once the designer adds in the light version next to the regular version that he/she has been using on his site, it already changes the site’s look. Therefore, designers should be cautious in choosing how many fonts for website design.
4. Page Weight and Loading Time
An average font is about 40kb. If you add italic, bold and italic bold which are the 3 popular versions in one font family into your site, then it’s 160kb. There’re fonts that considered to be heavy like Graffiti font, Star Wars font, or Disney font. The thickness of a font affects how much it weighs. In other words, fonts using more ink tend to be heavy and affect the loading speed of your site.
This explains why using less than three fonts on your site is usually recommended on many design forums. The reason is that it does not only help your site to load quickly but also ensure a clean, modern and well-organized look. However, if skillfully designed, the use of many fonts in one website can still create a strong impact for several certain business categories.
In short, a clear and easy to navigate website is just as important as a beautifully designed website. An impressive front page with breathtaking design might draw your readers to have a few clicks. However, if it takes them too much time to navigate through your site, they will give up. Having said that, cutting down the number of fonts to be used for your site to less than three is highly recommended.
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