Back in the old days, about 5 years ago, website font choices were typically limited to about 8 choices. There was Times New Roman, Arial, a generic serif font and an generic sans serif font.
It boiled down to what fonts were available on your website visitor’s computer. Why? Because your website isn’t a series of pictures broadcast on the internet, it is some text and a series of instructions for how that text should look. If you’ve ever wondered why a website looks differently in Internet Explorer than it does in Firefox, it’s because these two browsers interpret those instructions differently.
So we had to depend on your browser to find the font specified on your computer. If that font wasn’t available, it would grab any font on your computer that it thought might be about the same.
So when it came to the text on websites, they all looked pretty much alike. If you wanted anything fancy, you had to get a copy of Photoshop and create an image – like with your logo. But then none of the other text on the site would match your logo.
The internet has grown up a bit since then. With the latest versions of the website standards (HTML5 and CSS3 if you like the geeky details), we can embed fonts into our webpages.
Where to get fonts
If you have money to spend, you can buy fonts on the internet. Just google “where to buy fonts” and you’ll see a host of marketplaces. But lucky for us, there is a place where we can get free fonts.
Google fonts – free fonts for your website
There are currently over 600 fonts available in the Google Font collection with more being added every week. You can get everything from script, stencils, and boring. Here are some samples
You can even get some ideas for pairing your favorite font with another. If you use a highly stylized font for your headlines, you probably don’t want to use that in your text. It would be too difficult to read. So you’ll probably want a less stylized font for the body text. Google will give you some popular pairings and let you see how they two fonts will look together.
But how do you use those fonts in your images, like your logo? Well, you can download the fonts to your computer and install them. Now, that font is available in Photoshop, Word, and more.
Don’t settle for generic fonts
Don’t feel you have to limit yourself to the generic web fonts. You now have options, and many of them are free. Just don’t use too many different fonts (I would limit it to 2 for beginning designers).
If you’ve got a logo you love but you can’t find a website theme to match, I can create a custom WordPress template for you that will use that logo and your color scheme to the best effect. Contact me now if you need help creating a beautiful website that you and your visitors will love.
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