This is due to two factors; on the one hand, there is a wide range of possibilities to choose from, and it is easy to get lost. On the other hand, the right balance must be found between the beauty of the font, its originality and readability. You must never forget that typography is only a medium that must convey a clear message. There are no easy guidelines for choosing the right font, but these few proven principles will help you make the right choice.
For whom, and for what? Before you even start choosing a font, you need to recognize who will be the recipient of the message. Don't be guided by taste alone; think about the type of message you want to convey and always keep in mind that you are primarily trying to reach your target audience. It is your audience that needs to react to your texts, not your ego! In addition, the choice of the font should also ensure good legibility. Consider each feature and find the right balance.
TITLES One thing to consider, and that should be the guiding principle when choosing typography for your design, is the importance of differentiating between headings and standard paragraph text.
As much as paragraph text should remain as neutral and readable as possible, headings allow for more fantasy, with readability taking a back seat. Let's be clear, readability is still important, but you can use more graphic and original fonts.
The critical thing is that the title holds the reader's attention. A good combination of your headline and paragraph fonts allows the reader to receive the message more directly, by prioritizing each piece of information. Very graphic typography will work well for headlines, while clear, crisp typography will work best for paragraph text.
PARAGRAPHS Readability Legibility refers to the design of the font, such as the width of lines, presence or absence of effects, etc. It is fairly easy to determine which of two or more fonts is the most readable, simply based on your own eyesight and feelings.
Decorative or highly original fonts have poor legibility because they are primarily intended to be seen at a glance, rather than read in depth. These are the ones to be preferred for headlines. Then, fonts designed for novels and newspapers are always easy to read, even in very small sizes.
Size also plays an important role; a font that is illegible when written too small may be fine if it is written very largely, but not the other way around. This is why we recommend that you reserve the most graphic fonts for headlines, which are frequently written quite largely, and why you should always think about the type of medium before choosing a font.
Ideally, always create your products starting from the smallest; this will ensure optimal readability when you switch to a larger medium. If your goal is to develop a website, create it first and foremost for smartphones. If your goal is to create paper media, start your layout with the smallest product. And don't forget to test the actual size on your home printer before you order all the prints.
As you can see, the first font is perfectly readable. The second typeface, although still understandable, is much less suitable than the previous case and will be used instead for a subtitle. The last font is almost illegible and should be used for titles only. SPA-CING Preferably choose fonts with lots of space. When you read a text with many words, your brain does not look at each letter one by one but analyzes the various shapes that make up each word and tries to find a pattern that it recognizes. There is a famous study on the subject, in which researchers proved that in Indo-European languages, the order of the letters in a word had little importance apart from the first and last.
In short, a text that is too condensed slows down the recognition of syntactic structures necessary for its understanding. A more generous spacing allows everyone to proceed as quickly as their cognitive abilities allow.
Height Choose typefaces with the right height for the size. Once more, it's a matter of moderation; too high or too flat, and your text will be difficult to read. This is especially apparent with lowercase letters such as "c" and "e"; their opening is easier to see as the height increases. This does not mean that you should use the highest font possible; the important thing, as in almost everything about design, is balance.
To find out if the chosen font is correct, look at the lowercase letters "e" or "x". The aspect ratio should be close to square.
Subtitles There is a rule about subtitles: avoid choosing a third typography different from the other two. This type of stacking never looks right, except in rare cases.
Some use the title font by reducing the font size, but you can quickly end up with an unreadable mush depending on its complexity and originality. Preferably, you can differentiate subtitles by using the same font as the text in the paragraph, but by playing with three elements: its size, color and thickness. This is what we use in our articles.
CONCLUSION If you're anxious of making a mistake, you can fall back on some great classics of typography: "Helvetica", "Raleway", "Garamond"...you won't win any originality prizes, but you have to keep in mind that a text is supposed to be understood, and there's nothing worse for your credibility than ending up with an illegible website or flyer.
Google Fonts, Google's font library, is a great starting point for finding fonts that can adapt to any situation. In addition to offering royalty-free, commercially available fonts, Google Fonts also provides a reliable tool to help you find usable font combinations without risking an inappropriate choice.
This article and our website in general uses two fonts that you can find on Google Fonts: "Raleway" for subtitles and text, and "Bodoni" for titles.
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