It’s been several weeks / month that you are working on opening an online store or creating a news site. During this project, you did a lot of work on the specifications of the site which allowed you to structure your project well. It is now on track and you are at the last adjustments in terms of design and ergonomics.
Excellent, you have already done a lot of work! However, have you thought about these little details that, put end to end, will make your future website a real success or a bitter failure? These details can range from the consistency that you will bring to your graphic charter or the work on the UX design on which you have not spent enough time. But, one can push the detail even further through the choice of the font (font) that you will use on your site.
Indeed, what we call in the Fonts jargon (we will see later the difference between a font and a font), are as important as the place of an action button or the choice of this or that visual.
I propose today to explain to you why the choice of the fonts is an element on which you must take the time to ask yourself. I will also explain the mistakes you should not make in choosing these fonts. I will give you, finally, several examples of sites which proposes to you several thousands of fonts of example and on which you will be able to download writing fonts free of charge.
What is a Font? Why is it important to choose them?
First of all, it is necessary to define what is a font (which is different from a font) and the importance of this element on a website.
Definition of a Writing Font
A typography font (or font) is a visual representation of characters whose style is coordinated to form a complete and coherent language.
What is the difference between a character font and a font?
A font is the set of characters corresponding to the same body, fat, and italic characteristics within the same font. It is therefore a subfamily of a writing font. For example, if “Garamond” is a font, the “Roman Garamond fat 12 points” is, meanwhile, a font.
Be aware however that for a long time, the two terms are confused and each term can now be used. Besides, you will see that in this article, for a semantic reason, I will not make any distinction.
What role does a font play? Why it is necessary to choose them well?
The font sets the tone of a site. It is she who participates in the pleasure of reading. Its role is to make the reading as pleasant as possible for the user. It is still she who gives personality to the text.
With its character, it feeds perception and creates emotions: it gives the final touch. Font play a key role in understanding written messages.
How to choose a font for website?
Now that you have understood the importance of a font, here are some tips that I could glean from the AD (artistic director) of the agency that develops the site of my company to choose a front for a website. You will see, in the end, it’s pretty simple.
All fonts do not fit well on the screen
If there is an error that some companies develop a digital strategy, it is to use the font they used to use on their brochures, flyers or other posters, on their website. Know that some fonts, yet very effective on a physical format / paper, do not adapt at all on a web interface.
Thus, to choose the font of a site, it is necessary to test each font on the different browsers (IE, Chrome, Safari, Firefox) used by users, to ensure that those that have been selected stick well on a digital support.
Once the test is a success, you can integrate the font into your graphic.
The rule of 3: a basic to respect
Whether for dressing, design or ergonomics, we often talk about the number 3:
- 3 colors maximum when you dress
- 3 clicks to access products
- 3 major colors for a sober and efficient design
The rule of 3 also works when it comes to choosing a font for a website. To avoid that your website looks like a Christmas tree, it is strongly recommended to limit to 3 fonts maximum on the same site.
This will keep the sobriety necessary to avoid disrupting the Internet in their experience on your site.
Promote traditional fonts
Another important point in choosing a font: favor the traditional. Indeed, whether you want to have an avant-garde design, colorful or completely crazy, it’s quite understandable (and recommended if your target is as much as you). However, as far as typography is concerned, it is strongly advised to select traditional fonts.
Why ? Simply because Internet users, as extravagant as they are, are impatient, demanding and above all very conservative in their approach to reading on a digital medium. The operation is the same as for a book: if there is one place where you need to be more measured, it is in the choice of your font.
Last tip: compare the fonts live!
This is the last tip that I can give you: when you have started your selection of fonts that you plan to integrate on your site, I advise you to test them live to give you a real opinion of them . To do this, I advise you to use the site typetester.
This site is not free but offers you a trial version of 30 days, which will be more than enough to test the different selected fonts.
What is Typetester for?
On this site, you can select the pre-selected fronts to test them live, on the text of your choice. Until then, nothing exceptional. However, with this tool, you can compare, on the same screen, the same paragraph of text but under different fonts. So it’s great to compare and give you a real opinion.
3 sites to download free fonts
Here we are, it’s for this part that you have arrived on this article: the best sites to download free fonts.
Google Font is one of the reference sites for downloading free font.
For the moment, it is on this site that we selected the fonts that we used for our corporate site. It is therefore a good reference if you are looking for ideas.
Do not be fooled by the design of this site which is a real gold mine to find examples of fonts to download. Like all the other proposed sites, you will be able to download all the fonts proposed without having to pay the least euro. You can also donate to the author to thank him.
More than 1000 fonts are available for download on this site. It’s worth going for a walk to see, in just a few clicks, several hundred proposals.
Precautions for using these free fonts
Before you leave, know that all sites listed above work under licenses. This means that there are rules of use to respect. So, before you stop on the choice of a font, I advise you to check the conditions of use of this free font to make sure you respect them.