It’s a big task - finding the right font for your website, social media graphics, email campaigns, and any other digital assets you create. When choosing the best fonts for digital media there are many options, but only a few that are the best fit for your brand.
- Finding the Right Typeface
- Best Fonts for Digital Media
- Choosing Typefaces Carefully
Finding the Right Typeface
As we explained in the Best Fonts for Print blog, there is a difference between fonts and typefaces, though they often are used synonymously. Typeface is a complete set of characters with a common design aesthetic, i.e., serif, san serif, and script, while a font is the variation in weight and size of a typeface. Technicalities aside, this article is designed to help you find the best fonts for digital use, including websites, social media, blogs, and wherever else your content appears on a screen.
The most important thing to keep in mind when selecting the best font for websites or the best font for apps is how the user experiences it. There are two factors to user experience: readability and legibility.
Readability means what you think it means: the ability to read the text. The easier it is for users to read the text on your website or digital assets, the more likely they are to engage. To increase readability, choose fonts that are designed for use in specific parts of content (i.e. big, bold fonts in headers and clean, simple style fonts in the body).
Legibility is a measure of how easy it is to distinguish one letter from another in a particular typeface, including sufficient contrast from the background.
“Legibility” is based on the ease with which one letter can be told from the other.
“Readability” is the ease with which the eye can absorb the message and move along the line.
—J. Ben Lieberman “Types of Typefaces” (1968)
Best Fonts for Digital Media
There are thousands of online fonts to choose from, but we’ve curated a list of the best fonts for digital.
According to FontReach, Arial is the most used font online, with over 604,000 websites currently using it. Popular websites like Google, Facebook, and Amazon use Arial. Arial is regarded as highly readable and considered web safe. Web safe fonts are typefaces that come pre-installed on the majority of computers and devices, regardless of operating system.
The letters are semi-rounded, which can convey a warm, homey feeling.However, the solid structure also conveys stability, seriousness, and professionalism. If these are the same feelings your brand conveys, consider using Lato in your digital assets.
If you’re searching for the best font for websites or the best fonts for graphic design, take a look at Montserrat. It is a seamless blend of Serif and Sans serif, giving you the best of both worlds. Montserrat was designed specifically for fast reading, so it does well in smaller body text.
For specific digital assets like social media banners or a picture grids on Instagram profiles, Novecento is a great choice. Its high stroke and bold shapes make it stand out and get users to stop scrolling.
Merriweather is great for readability, but not in long form. More than a few sentences and it can cause eye strain for a reader. It is most commonly used for reading passages, poetry, personal quotes and so on.
Taking a step back from websites and social media, there are font choices to be made for logos and branding as well. Nexa is a popular choice used by graphic designers for its clean and stylish look. It also stands out well in headers and as titles.
Studies show that many users “skim-read”, or use a Z pattern when reading in which they sample the first line and then word-spot through the rest of the text. To help your skim-reading users easily navigate through your content, use Helvetica Neue. It’s simple, easy to read, and works well in header and body text.
If you are searching for a single typeface to help remain consistent through your branding, that will work for all digital assets (apps, blogs, social media, mobile, etc.), Open Sans is the typeface for you. According to Google, Open Sans is featured in more than 90,000,000 websites. This is largely due to it being optimized for print, web, and mobile interfaces, and has excellent legibility characteristics in its letterforms.
Choosing Typefaces Carefully
You work hard to put out great digital content for users to see, read, engage, and hopefully convert into an opportunity - but you won’t get that far if the typeface you choose deters them from reading your content altogether. To keep your readers on your page and interested in learning more, make sure you choose a font that encourages them to do so. Keep the user experience in mind, ensuring readability and legibility is optimized for every digital media asset you create for your brand. When in doubt, choose a clean, simple font that you know is easy to read like Arial.
Take the guesswork out of it, and let Ironmark’s full-service creative department pick the best font for your website, blog, email, social media assets, and all other digital media needs for your brand.