Here at Tandem, we believe that quality is evident in the finer details. We sweat the small stuff. And choosing a font for your website, while it may seem minor, is an important part of branding. Every font has a personality and you need to find the right font for your message.
When choosing a font, it’s important to understand how fonts differ and what messages the different types generally portray. To start, there are two broad categories that encompass all fonts: serif fonts and sans-serif fonts. All fonts are divided by the presence or lack-there-of of a serif, the small flag or lines that cap a larger line on a letter. See the graphic to the right to get an idea.
Fonts with a serif tend to be perceived as more formal, traditional or elegant. They can also be perceived as more stable and long-lasting.
Sans-serif fonts, or fonts without serifs, are perceived as friendly, modern, and easy-going. They can have open, rounded letters or be narrow and thin, but in general they are much more approachable. They can also represent clarity, simplicity and a cutting away of all the fluff.
Within these two categories, there are a few notable subcategories.
Slab serif fonts are a modern take on the traditional serif font. It includes rounded modern lettering, with straight, no-flair, serifs. These are quite popular these days, so you are likely to recognize them. They are modern and fun, without being overly casual.
Script or Handwriting Font
Script fonts, or fonts made to look like handwriting, are also quite popular. They are ultra casual and chock full of personality. In general, they should be used sparingly, as they can overpower a more subtle brand and be difficult to read.
Some fonts have only capital letters. This can send a bold, and firm message, so should also be used as accents only. Body text in app caps is generally perceived as overly forceful or the digital version of yelling.
Decorative fonts are fonts that have artistic flourish. They may have shadows, be large and blocky, be a calligraphy style, or contain extra small elements like snowflakes, stars etc. The possibilities are endless. Because of their artistic nature, decorative fonts display creativity, uniqueness and fun. In general, they work well for word marks, logos or a short title. They should not be used for long strings of text.
Within all these categories, there are many variances, or areas to infuse your message. Your lettering can be short or tall. It can be thick stroked, or thin and light. It can be round, square or narrow. All of these styles give subtle messages.
Your font has a lot to say about you!