When it comes to web design, one of the most important factors that decides the success or failure of the site is how web friendly the chosen font is. An unfriendly font can make your website completely unreadable on certain browsers, whether it is because it simply refuses to load or it is to decorative or small to be understood. There are, however, a number of favourites amongst designers that you will see crop up time and time again:
- Helvetica – This is probably the most used font in web design; it was developed back in 1957 by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffman. It is considered to be a fairly neutral typeface, meaning that it will take on the mood of its surroundings. Because of this, it is suitable for essentially any sort of website or design application.
- Garamond – Named after punch-cutter Claude Garamond, this popular 16th century typeface has inspired a number of spin-off fonts, including Adobe Garamond and Stempel Garamond. Its use is attributed mainly to the fact that it is one of the most legible typefaces and to the fact that it uses very little ink when printed.
- Futura – Another popular font, this one was designed by Paul Renner in 1927 and was considered very modern for the time. It reads very nicely when used in web design, as it has been inspired by geometric forms (as shown in the near-perfect circles, squares and triangles). In an interesting decision, all unnecessary elements were removed from the typeface.
- Bodoni – One of the more modern looking typefaces out there, Bodoni instantly gained popularity for its contrast between thin and thick strokes, its condensed shape and suitability for headlines. It was created in 1798 by Giambattista Bodoni and has since been used in a number of band logos, including Nirvana.
- Bickham Script Pro – An attractive formal typeface, this font is one of the newest on the list (it was created in 1997 by Richard Lipton), but was based on the handwriting that was common in the 18th century. It is viewed as being more of a romantic script and is used extensively in web designs that need a more decorative touch.
When you are next working on a web design project, make sure that you take the font that you use into account very early on in the design process. If you are ever stuck for ideas, you can always revert back to one of the more popular typefaces outlined in the above list – Helvetica and Futura tend to work in any theme designs, whilst Bickham Script Pro and Garamond will add more of a decorative touch.