What is the Best Font for a Website?

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Digital advice from analog origin (6)

"What is the best font?", a much-asked question when I was having my graphic design studio. My reply usually was: “What impression do you want to make?”

The character of your website dictates the kind of font that is best. And even then, there are so many different fonts that you have plenty of choices. Nothing wrong with choosing a font that you like, as long as you take into account what your audience expects.

In one of my other articles, I explained the fundamentals of letters:


And in this one, I have told more about the way fonts are categorized in serif, sans-serif, etc:


A typographer is a craftsperson

Keyboard characters

Designing an alphabet costs a lot of time. All letters must be in balance with each other. Letters can have accents. Every language has its own alphabet.

And then I am only talking about the languages with a Roman alphabet. There are also languages with a Cyrillic alphabet. Hebrew. Chinese.

Then there are the numbers. Characters such as $ and €.

And when letters were still cast in lead blocks, each font size also had to be drawn separately.

Understandably, most fonts are not designed for all the world's languages. Yet, there is ample choice.

As many effects as possible?

I guess you can understand my huge admiration for typographers. In logotypes, I did make some changes at times or adjust the letter-spacing, but only sparsely and always with a reason.

For instance, because there would be an unbalance in the total image of the word. Or a descending part of a letter was crossed by an ascending part of another letter.

That’s how designs of amateur designers are easily recognized: they add too many effects. For instance, a logotype gets a shadow AND is extended AND skewed.

(Oh, and I can't help but remark: a logotype is definitely different from an image. I know that in the current idiom, figurative marks are also referred to by the word logo. But logo comes from the Greek word logos, which means word.)

The best font for a website

Is it obliged to choose the same font for a website as is used in the logotype? The answer is no, not necessarily. Sometimes the letter font used for the logo is so specific that it is even better to choose a different font.

This leaves the question of what the best font is. It depends on the character of your business - which is for a big part determined by what your audience is used to and expects - and your own taste.

A contractor will choose a different font than a fashion designer. Women may be more likely to choose a lighter font, while men will go for a more robust one.

Have a look at the websites of your competitors. What kind of font did they choose? Don’t copy what they do blindly. "Because everyone does it that way" is bad counseling.

If you want to know exactly what the name of their font is, you can look that up on What the font. Another useful tool is Font Picker, an extension for the Google Chrome browser.

Google fonts

You can either choose a serif or a sans-serif font. Display fonts are meant for posters. As you can see the legibility in a small size is better with the first 4 examples.

Your WordPress theme often offers a choice of various fonts. If not, or if you don't like them, you can install a font on your website using a plugin or a code.

Google Fonts has a choice of more than 1,000 fonts and also gives you the option to filter by language, font properties, and type:

  • Serif
  • Sans serif
  • Display
  • Handwriting
  • Monospace

A note about conventions

One of the mottos throughout my life was, you have to know the rules to deviate from them. This does not mean that you should know you can't steal to become a thief. It means no professional rule, for example, the rules of design and typography, is set in stone.

If you know what your audience expects and you know what the competition uses, it might be a great idea to be a bit different. Not too much, because that will set people off, but just enough to arouse curiosity and interest.

Aspects of a well-chosen font

  • Legibility is more important than beautiful;
  • Choose a clearly drawn letter, not too bold, not too light;
  • Do not make the leading (line spacing) too small;
  • Make sure the color has enough contrast with the background;
  • Do not place photos behind the text.

Let me know if you have any questions about this topic. I’ll be happy to answer!


My other blogs on what we can learn from using traditional resources in contemporary design:








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Recent Comments


I love playing with fonts and it depends on what I'm writing. On a game show the other night there was a question about fonts on a resume. The answer surprised me.....it was that you should stay away from Times New Roman. I thought that was a standard resume font.

I didn't know about those 2 websites...What The Font and Font Picker. Clever names and fun! I'll have to check them out.


That answer surprises me too. Especially print on paper is better legible in a serif font. And in contrast to fonts on a screen that hasn't been much investigated, there has been done a lot of scientific investigation to reading from paper.

Times is an ancient letter and together with Garamond and Baskerville and such, a very well drawn one. The Times New Roman is an adjustment of the Times to use on-screen. And as far as I know, the adjustments have been done right.

Take care, Debbi :)

Hi Hannie, hope you are doing well.

I have never really thought so much about fonts, but this information is fantastic, I have definitely learnt a lot and will have to be more aware of what fonts to use in the future.

Good to hear, Nick :)

Thanks again Hannie.

Enjoy your day.

Hello Hannie, thanks for the info.

You're welcome, Roger

Thank you for widening my knowledge of the font world! I have used a simple approach to choosing fonts and used my own reaction to the end result. I just wanted to be able to read the content, as easily and quickly as possible.

You have shared another side to the equation.

In the end, legibility is the most important, Sami, so you have probably chosen the right font. :)

Good afternoon Hannie,

You really are a source of helpful information.
I often get frustrated when I see a website with tiny letters. If I can hardly read it, even if I have my glasses on, you can imagine I quickly leave.

Greetings from the south of Spain,


Thanks, Taetske, glad I am of help :)
If you can't read it, try to enlarge the page. On my Apple, it's by the key combination command and +. So I bet you can do it on a PC by control and +.


I know that Hannie. It is the first impression that counts, right? When I am presented with a website with tiny ant scribbles, it puts me off.

All the best, Taetske

You're right, Taetske!

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