When you are fairly new to the world of web design, it can actually be quite tricky to choose which fonts to use. But once you understand what “web safe fonts” really are, everything suddenly becomes crystal clear. Web safe fonts are basically the most popular fonts used by web designers to make the content of their websites appealing to visitors. They are also the most commonly available fonts on computers around the world.
If you download a really cool but rare font from your favorite free website and decide to use it for all your main headings for example, you should be aware that unfortunately not everybody will be able to view your masterpiece the way you created it.
In others words, if people who visit your website do not have the fonts you used to design it on their computers, they will not be able to see those particular fonts on their screens. Instead, their browsers will replace them with some other fonts that are already installed on their computers.
That’s why it is highly recommended that you stick to the most popular fonts so that your website can be viewed exactly the way it is by almost everybody.
There are many web safe fonts that you can use to create your websites, all it takes is a little creativity to make them look more attractive and use them to your advantage. There are basically two types of fonts you need to know about:
* Serif fonts
* Sans Serif fonts (Sans is French for without)
Serif Fonts are fonts that have fine cross lines at the end of the letters and Sans Serif Fonts are fonts that do not have anything at the end of the letters. The most common Serif Font is Times New Roman which is also coincidentally the default font for most windows-based browsers.
There are also Monospaced Fonts which are basically fonts that have the same amount of space between each letter. Here’s a list of the 23 most commonly used fonts – I personally use Georgia, Times New Roman, Tahoma for the texts and Impact for Headings which I think look really good on a web page:
Most Common Serif Fonts:
- Bookman Old Style
- Palatino Linotype
- Times New Roman
Most Common Sans Serif Fonts:
- Arial Black
- Century Gothic
- MS Sans Serif
- Trebuchet MS
Most Common Monospaced Fonts:
- Courier New
To make you life easier, I recommend that you stick to the most common fonts listed above for the body text of your websites. This will ensure that everyone visiting your website can see it exactly the way you want it to be seen.
However you can use whatever font you choose for your logos, navigation and other website design elements just as long as you use them as part of an image. For example on a clickable logo or banner designed on Photoshop or PaintNet which you then insert on your webpage. Well I really hope this has helped you understand what web safe fonts are and how to use them.