Do you know your Helvetice from your Calibri? What about your slabs from your scripts? Whether you’re a designer, blogger, editor or copywriter, you need to know which typeface is best for you.
Serif vs Sans-serif
Serif fonts come with small, decorative lines that tail the letters called “serifs”. These are designed to make the typeface easier to read in print, as the human eye quickly distinguishes the letter with the serif attached to it.
Sans serif typefaces ditch the serif, making for bold, confident type that displays better on the web. They also resize without distortion far better than Sans Serif, meaning sans is ideal for smaller body copy.
Fonts for Web
Bloggers, writers and digital designers all have the unenviable task of shifting through typefaces and fonts to select the best one for their projects. Headlines need to be bold and engaging, while body text needs to be clear and readable.
Truetype and Opentype files are the files you’ll download from websites like dafont.com. Unfortunately, some of these don’t display properly on other people’s browsers. Use with care.
The Google web fonts have been adapted for use on the web. They will display the same on all modern browsers – meaning they’re the best fonts for online use.
To help you choose your perfect typefaces, we’ve looked at some of the top news websites to see what they use in their headers and body. If you run a news website, these fonts are worth considering!
Top header fonts
- Helvetica (Sans-serif): 27% of the world’s top 15 news websites uses Helvetice as their hearder. Bold, clear and simple – it’s great for headlines.
- Georgia (Serif): 13% use the font Georgia, which is clear at low-res and very legible as well as “traditional” looking.
- Proxima Nova (Sans-serif): 13% of headlines are typed with Proxima Nova, a bold typeface that has become popular as simplicity has become the standard.
Top body copy fonts
- Georgia (Serif): 27% use this serif font, it looks traditional while still being legible, so suits online news sites trying to replicate a print feel.
- Helvetica (Sans-serif): 20% opt for this sans-serif favourite for a safe yet effective typographic choice.
- Arial (Sans-serif): 20% use this classic typeface, it’s very familiar to users, it easy-to-read and comes in a variety of different weights.
Less formal than news websites, there’s a stress on informality and personality. Fonts should reflect a person/brand and be conversational.
Top header fonts:
- Georgia: 20% of blogs use this font as header text – favouring the traditional, conversational tone of serif font
- Oswald: 10% of blogs use this font, a relatively new sans-serif typeface that is free to use and is available as a webfont. A bold, direct choice for headers.
Top body copy fonts
Blog body copy is just as personal, but due to legibility demands there is more uniformity between choices.
- Arial: 20% use it for it’s bold, readable and reliable qualities.
- Trebuchet: 10% use this, another clear and legible sans-serif typeface.
- Helvetica: 10% use the world’s most popular font, it works well for both news sites and personal blogs.
Future of fonts
Now that we’ve entered an age of typography that can display the same across all browsers, websites and publications, we’ve finally reached a point where the user has access to great fonts at the touch of a button that can be read and used by anyone, any where.
However, mobile use and apps have transformed the use of language. In an effort to appeal to audiences across the globe, lot of designers use symbols rather than text. This creates a universally recognisable image that often say more than words.
Designers have created entire typefaces where each letter corresponds to a certain symbol. The only issue that remain is – does your icon have the same meaning around the world? Is it understanable? Should you just stick to words instead?