There are typefaces and fonts everywhere you look; we use them everywhere from tv to posters and billboards, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. But do you really pay attention to them?
Do you know your Helvetica from your Calibri? What about your slabs from your scripts? Or even the difference between a font and a typeface? So, whether you’re a designer, blogger, editor or copywriter, you need to know which typeface is best for you.
And in the following infographic by MediaWorks—in conjunction with Cartridge Discount—comes an informative guide on everything you need to know about fonts. It includes the types of fonts that will look best on web and print, even unique typefaces that might help dyslexic readers. Check it out below:
What font is best for me?
The term “font” is widely misused on the Internet. A font is the specific weight and style of the overall typeface. For example, if ‘Garamond’ is a typeface, then ‘ITC Garamond’ is the italic version at a certain weight: the font.
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 letters 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 serifs, meaning sans is ideal for small body copy.
Fonts for the web
Bloggers, writers and digital designers all have the unenviable task of 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.
Web fonts, on the other hand, have been specifically adapted for use on the web. They’ll display the same on all modern browsers—meaning they’re the best for fonts for online use.
Top header fonts for news
- Helvetica, a sans serif font that’s used by 27% of the top 15 news sites. Bold, clear and simple—it’s great for headlines.
- 13% use the serif font Georgia, which is clear at low res and very legible as well as “traditional” looking.
- Another 13% use the sans serif Proxima Nova—a bold typeface that has become popular as simplicity has become the standard.
news body copy fonts
- 27% of news sites use Georgia. It looks traditional, while still being legible and replicates a print feel online.
- 20% opt for Helvetica, a sans serif favourite that’s a safe, yet effective typographic choice.
- A further 20 % use the sans serif Arial. It’s a classic typeface that’s familiar to users, is easy-to-read and comes in a variety of different weights.
Blog headline fonts
While less formal than news sites, blogs stress informality and personality. Therefore, fonts should reflect a person/brand and be conversational.
- 20% of blogs use Georgia as header text—favouring the traditional, conversational tone of the sans serif typeface.
- 10% use Oswald, a relatively new typeface that is free to use and available as a web font. A bold, direct choice for headers.
Top body copy typefaces for blogs
- 20% of blogs use Arial for its bold, readable and reliable qualities.
- 10% use Trebuchet, another clear and legible sans serif typeface.
- Helvetica, the world’s most popular typeface, is used as body text by 10% of bloggers.
Did you know that Helvetica is the only font to have an entire feature film made about it? It even has it’s own coffee blend.
Fonts for print
For a long time sans serif was the primary choice of typefaces for novels and magazines. Nowadays, design trends have changed and we see a mixture of styles.
Looking at fonts used by print publications, the database fontsinuse.com gives us an idea of which fonts are commonly used. Here are the top 3:
This shows a clear trend towards sans serif, bold and eye-catching typefaces. Times New Roman, originally invented in 1931 for the Times of London newspaper, is the best choice for body text.
The 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 used by anyone, anywhere.
However, mobile use and apps have transformed the use of language. In an effort to appeal to audiences around the globe, lots of designers use symbols rather than text. This creates a universally recognizable image that often says more than words. In fact, designers have created entire typefaces where each letter corresponds to a certain symbol. The only issue that remains is:
- Does your icon have the same meaning around the world?
- Is it understandable?
- Should you just stick with words instead?