How to pick the best web fonts

Mockup of a microsite

Within the Zoomforth platform, fonts are controlled within the theme editor. A theme is a set of styling rules which includes font colors, weights and sizes.

We provide you with a branded theme, using your own brand guidelines, to get you started. This allows you to create microsites, safe in the knowledge that you will always be on-brand.

Of course, you also have the option to create an unlimited number of themes yourself – using different fonts and colors. You might want to do this if, for example, you are creating a site in your client’s branding rather than your own.

To do this, however, you’ll need to know how to pick the best web fonts for your specific purposes. Here are some tips on choosing the best web fonts for your microsites.

Pick fonts while following your brand guidelines

Before you begin, check your company’s visual brand guidelines. The chances are, there will be specific rules on which fonts you can use.

If you don’t have any guidelines to follow, we’d suggest you start by creating a set, to ensure brand consistency across your media. This can be as simple as specifying what the official fonts and font sizes are to be used for all company resources, and in which colors.

This will help make sure that different departments don’t go using different typefaces. Remember that when it comes to typefaces for the web, consistency communicates coordination which, in turn, communicates professionalism.

Just as your use of imagery and video merit brand consideration, so too do the decisions you take about fonts. In order for brands to speak effectively to their audience, everything from white space to font sizes to font types needs to be carefully coordinated.

Why picking the right typefaces for the web is so important

It’s been years since the invention of the printing press but this doesn’t mean that typesetting has stopped being relevant. Even if a font is “only” going to render on screens and not in print, it still needs to look good. Good web fonts also need to fit within a visual organizational structure that communicates to the viewer that planning has gone into it.

A typographic hierarchy ensures that consistent fonts are used across the typical hierarchy of headings that divide text into more readable chunks.

At a minimum, you should ensure that you have designated different fonts and point sizes to be used for your headings, subheadings, and body texts.

Other typesetting best practices that you should include in your brand communication guide:

The best fonts offer high legibility

The debate between serif and sans-serif font has raged on in the typography community for years. And we’re not going to settle on the best font families on the Zoomforth blog. This doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook when it comes to thinking about how readable your chosen fonts are.

With the advent of open access font libraries such as Google Fonts, an unprecedented number of fonts have been made available to non-designers and casual web users. Using the Font Import Statement you can add any Google or custom font into your Zoomforth theme.

Nevertheless, when using fonts that diverge even slightly from the most common options used on the internet, consider these things:

Zoomforth font editor

Maintain consistency throughout your microsite(s)

Sometimes, you might want to use more than one font, for example, if you want to create contrast between a heading and body font. You might also want to mix things up with colored fonts in some areas, but black or white on others. The key things to remember are:

Your quick checklist for picking the best fonts to use on a microsite

To make sure that your microsites go out the door with fonts that will honor the message you’re trying to convey in the resource:

When it comes to the best fonts for the web, a letter is more than a letter —it communicates something important about what the company and brand stand for and even whether their visual narrative is stand-offish and corporate or laid back and free-flowing.

If in doubt, ask to speak to one of our designers. We are always happy to advise on font choices!

Want to learn more? Join one of our free Design Skills Workshops here.

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