Which font should I use?
Well, this question must arise in each and every designer’s mind whenever he used to start a new design project, whether it is web designing, graphics or printing. And there will be a lot of confusion over choosing a perfect font type for each project. There may be some rules which must be followed while choosing the font, but trust me, the most important rule of choosing and using a font is that “there is no rule!” But if you are thinking of following the “No rule” rule, you have to select the font smartly and use them wisely. Because there are thousands of fonts available which make little bit confusion and again the question arises: Which font should I use?
Before start digging the technicality behind choosing a font, let’s get introduced with some basic and important font types. There are many categories and sub-categories of font types. But we will have a look at some important main categories.
Old Style fonts are generally characterized by the low contrast of thin and thick strokes. Since this type is simple and clean, this makes the text easier to read. Thus, this is the reason why this font type is often used in materials like newspapers, magazines and brochures printing among others.
Don’t go with the name Modern, as it was introduced in the 18th century when the quality of printing paper was improved and some new typeface was demanded over the Old type fonts. But still it has a modern touch (can’t be considered in this era). Modern style font type can be recognized by the variations in the thick and thin strokes and their thin, strong horizontal serifs.
This typeface swiftly gains the popularity in the recent years. Because of relatively little contrast between thick and thin strokes it projects the sense of authority.
You can easily recognize what is the difference between Slab serif and Sans serif. Sans is a French word which means “without”. As its names itself tells that it a typeface without serifs. Though it was introduced before the computer era, it is heavily used for the content on the webpage, as it has a very good readability on computer screens.
Script or Handwritten
This typeface is very easy to spot and has a very wide variety to choose from. Though they seem not so serious but they can imply a beautiful handmade touch to your design.
So these are some of basic and important types of fonts and there are some types like Decorative and Dingbats.
How to choose?
To answer this question, you have to gather the requirement of design and also conclude its nature. It will be great if you do some a small research for the same.
As you see, on internet there are many websites which do use more than one typeface. They actually use a mix of typefaces to give a desired feel. So, before using more than one typeface, you must decide whether you need them or not. Many different typefaces on single screen will damage the readability of your design. If your design contains lot of content then you can go with the Sans Serif typeface, which provides you good readability on computer monitor.
There’s rarely (if ever) a situation where just one typeface is appropriate for use on a site. The average website has a lot of text. There’s no way one typeface will work for all of them! The vast majority of well-designed websites use two typefaces: one for body copy, and one for headlines.
When choosing a pair of fonts, the most important thing to consider is how they work together. “Are they similar enough?” “Too similar?” “Not different enough?” All these are questions you should be asking yourself. I find that the best way to choose a pair of fonts that works is to just put a lot of them side by side and decide on the best. There’s no way to know which is the best until you’ve tried all of them.
Sometimes, the most appropriate thing would be two sans-serifs, while other times, you want a sans for headlines, and a serif for body content. It doesn’t particularly matter if they look similar, what matters is if they act similar. This of course depends on the rest of your design. Whichever fonts you choose has to convey your message strongly, and if that means having contrasting typefaces, then go for it.
Basically there is no scientific or technically proven formula for which font you should select for your design. Instead of following any formula the best way to decide on one is to just try out each font you think might work, and then compare. Choosing fonts is really a gut instinct, but it’s important to remember that 90% of the time, a user won’t be thinking about what font is used, so if it’s readable, then that’s often good enough.